North Dakota hosted over 75 international visitors from 15 countries as part of the Big Iron International Visitors Program, the portion of the Big Iron Farm Show connecting international equipment buyers with North Dakota businesses. The International Visitors Program (IVP) was held Sept. 11-14 and is organized by the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service.
Governor Doug Burgum welcomed international guests at a reception held Monday, September 11 in Fargo.
“Once again, North Dakota is honored and privileged to welcome visitors from around the world to the Big Iron International Visitors Program, which has hosted more than 900 visitors from over 40 countries since the program began in 2007,” said Governor Burgum. “Promoting our state’s high-quality products to global markets with growing demand continues to be a successful strategy for North Dakota, and we thank our visitors for their interest and participation.”
Delegations from countries including Russia, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, and Romania met with participating companies and toured the Big Iron Farm Show. The Big Iron IVP also included company presentations, equipment demonstrations, farm and ranch tours, educational events and networking receptions.
North Dakota company participants included agricultural equipment manufacturers, agriculture service providers, commodity storage and processing equipment manufacturers, educational institutions, and research specialists.
The Big Iron International Visitors Program is one component of North Dakota’s export expansion initiative. In 2016, North Dakota companies exported 1,328 unique products to 146 different countries, totaling $5.3 billion of merchandise. North Dakota exports increased in several markets last year. In 2016, export growth occurred in Russia, Canada, Germany, China, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Ukraine among other countries. So far in 2017, North Dakota’s concentrated efforts in Peru, the Philippines and India have paid off with notable increases in those markets.
NDTO is a member-based, public-private organization dedicated to expanding North Dakota’s exports through advocacy, education and expertise. All trade missions and reverse trade missions are designed to assist North Dakota companies in finding potential partners and making overseas sales; these initiatives are open to the public.