Looking for new business? Have you ever considered exporting your goods or services? Have you ever been contacted by a potential customer in a foreign market and you weren’t sure what to do next?
95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside U.S. borders. And that population is expected to enjoy 85 percent of the planet’s economic growth in the next five years. The opportunities are ginormous!
Increasing our number of Kansas City exporters is an important goal in the KC Rising effort to grow Kansas City’s regional economy – which, by the way, is lagging behind the rest of the country.
The good news: the KC region now has a metro export plan, released last month by the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) Steering Committee.
If you’ve been daunted by the complexities of international business, or haven’t thought about it, you now have your own global business advisor – a concierge to help you expand into new markets.
Concierge: a hotel employee whose job is to assist guests
The goal: 100 new exporters within the next five years.
“Our strategy revolves around a new export concierge program,” says Chris Gutierrez, co-chair of Kansas City’s Global Cities Initiative Steering Committee and President of Kansas City SmartPort. “We found that most Kansas City businesses were unaware of the many local export services available to them. The new export concierge will provide personal, one-to-one guidance to current and prospective exporters, helping them navigate the complex process of entry into foreign markets.”
Paul Weida, co-chair of the GCI Steering Committee and Vice President, Government Affairs at Black & Veatch, adds, “The KC area has all the right pieces to grow exports but the market assessment showed the pieces need to be better connected. That’s what this export plan does. It connects potential exporters to export service providers by way of the region’s economic development agencies and the newly created export concierge.”
The World Trade Center Kansas City (WTC-KC), an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, will serve as the export concierge. Just as a hotel concierge makes reservations or gets theater tickets, the new international concierge will provide advice, direction, market information, connections to not only WTC-KC’s global network of world trade centers in 330 cities around the globe but also to other regional export assistance providers in the KC region. An easy first step to being connected to a world of trade resources available to businesses who want to go global!
What is the Global Cities Initiative?
In late 2014, Kansas City was selected one of 28 cities in the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase to help business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness.
Through GCI, the Brookings Institution has been providing research, data, and wise counsel.
The WTC-KC is already providing concierge services to a number of local companies interested in international business. To learn more, visit wtc-kc.com, or contact Ivry Karamitros . You can read Kansas City’s export plan here.