MDA Leading Business Trip to Toronto, Montreal

Jackson, Miss. (July 27, 2012) – The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) invites state business leaders interested in pursuing trade opportunities in the Canadian market or seeking representation, partners or distributorships in Canada to participate in a multi-sector business-to-business matchmaking mission to Toronto and Montreal September 10-14, 2012.
The mission will connect Mississippi businesses with qualified Canadian businesses through pre-arranged, one-on-one meetings.
Historically, Canada has been and continues to be Mississippi’s top export market. Mississippi exports to Canada valued more than $10 billion in 2011, and the state’s exports to Canada increased 32 percent from 2010 to 2011.
“Many U.S. goods are no longer subject to tariffs as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Canada offers geographic proximity to the U.S., a stable business climate and familiar business practices, and Canadian consumers are receptive to U.S. products, as well,” said Vickie Watters, MDA’s Canadian trade specialist. “These factors make Canada a great place for Mississippi companies pursuing export opportunities for the first time, and additional opportunities exist for companies that already sell their products and services in Canadian markets to expand their sales in Canada.”
Qualified participating businesses are offered financial incentives through the U.S. Small Business Administration-funded Mississippi State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant program to help offset certain costs related to the trip. The STEP program reimburses eligible participating businesses for up to 50 percent of their travel costs, including lodging and airfare, and provides translation services at no cost.
Additional services, available to all participating businesses, include scheduled appointments with prequalified prospective buyers and government officials, local transportation assistance and a customized itinerary. In addition, MDA provides participating companies with market research to assess their export potential in the Canadian market and to identify export opportunities.
Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to register is August 3. For more information or to obtain a registration form, please contact Vickie Watters at 601.359.2070 or e-mail  vwatters@mississippi.org.

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