There are a number of excellent state and local organizations in Maryland-DC that can help you develop export business.
Maryland Department of Agriculture
The Maryland Department of Agriculture can help take agricultural businesses to the world so they grow in ways they never could domestically. In addition to advising on and researching foreign markets, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) regularly organize trade missions that connect local Maryland producers and suppliers with partners around the world. MDA also has expertise in making trade show experiences successful and leveraging them to raise the international profile of Maryland. These shows are a cost-effective way to reach foreign industry leaders and gain wide exposure. Accessing overseas markets is an effective tool in overcoming weak domestic demand and keeping your business profitable.
The International Marketing Program helps overcome the technical issues in exporting through access to experts in overseas shipping. MDA also works closely with USDA staff at embassies worldwide and with other organizations to facilitate exports to more than 35 countries. Through the Southern U.S. Trade Association (SUSTA) and the US Livestock & Genetics Export Association, MDA obtains funding to manage international trade missions and reverse trade missions bringing foreign buyers to visit Maryland farms.
Maryland Department of Commerce – Office of International Investment and Trade
The Maryland Department of Commerce assists businesses to advance their global competitiveness. The Office of International Investment & Trade provides support to Maryland companies planning to enter new foreign markets or advance export sales. Commerce’s International Team also assists foreign companies seeking to establish a U.S. or North American presence in Maryland. The office manages the ExportMD program, which helps to offset some of the costs of marketing internationally for Maryland’s small and mid-sized companies. Maryland organizes corporate delegations to international trade shows and coordinates company participation in the Maryland Global Consulting Program, which gives Maryland companies the opportunity to work with high-achieving students from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. The office connects Maryland businesses with a network of 16 international trade offices overseas in: Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates. Finally, companies can participate in the state’s FlexEx Program that offers Maryland companies up to 20 hours of assistance per year from the Maryland Department of Commerce’s trade experts around the globe. Assistance can be used for services ranging from distributor or partner search to insight on local regulations. Additional services through the Maryland Department of Commerce include: International and industry research; marketing products and services abroad; assessing requirements for export documentation; opportunity to participate in foreign trade shows and missions; and making business connections.
University of Maryland’s Center for Global Business
The Smith School’s Center for Global Business is home to one of 15 Centers for International Business Education (CIBE) in the country funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education. It serves as a regional and national resource center for teaching, research and outreach in international business and related fields. Its mission is to promote U.S. capacity for international understanding and economic enterprise and the ability of U.S. business to prosper in an international economy by focusing on:
Top quality research & thought leadership in international business
Prepare students for global leadership
Faculty development in international business
Build critical knowledge and international skills of business professionals
The CIBE grant for the Smith School Center for Global Business was renewed for the fifth time in 2018 with a $1.2 million four-year grant with 100% matching funds from the Smith School and University of Maryland.
Working with the Maryland Department of Commerce, the Center for Global Business offers the Maryland Global Consulting Program, which gives Maryland companies the opportunity to work with high-achieving students from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Maryland Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program is the leader in providing small business owners and entrepreneurs with the tools and guidance needed to become successful in today’s challenging economic climate.
The SBDC provides comprehensive business guidance on most business issues, including international trade, and all of the following:
- best practices for small businesses
- business plan development
- start-up basics
- procurement & contracting opportunities
- regulatory compliance
- money management
- manufacturing assistance
World Trade Center Institute – Baltimore
The World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore helps companies develop their international business through education, resources and connections. The WTC is a membership-based, apolitical 501 (c) (3) non-profit, and part of the World Trade Center Association; the WTC in Baltimore helps form a network of 324 World Trade Centers around the globe in 89 countries. The association serves as an ‘international ecosystem’ of global connections and integrated trade services. Positioned within the World Trade Center Baltimore, the facilities offer a prime location for local and international corporate events.