The North Dakota Mill has been grinding flour and adding to state coffers since 1922. The only state-owned mill in the nation is also North America’s single largest milling operation. The mill sells the highly recognizable “Dakota Maid” brand amongst many other products within wheat markets both here and abroad.
E-commerce giant Alibaba sold $25 billion of product to the world on “Singles Day” this past weekend. Singles Day is a Chinese version of Cyber Monday. To put that in perspective, the combined sales of the most recent Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Amazon Prime Day add up to around 30% of that total. It’s indicative of the global shift to online shopping and reliance on the internet for researching products and services. Statistics are rapidly changing, but the following countries lead the world in e-commerce.
The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) announced last week that it has been awarded a $169,850 grant to promote North Dakota’s specialty crops to international buyers. The grant was awarded by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, which administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The NDTO will use the funds to create the Specialty Crop Program 2017, which will increase the state’s global market visibility and competitiveness of the specialty crop sector, with this year’s primary focus on the Middle East and North Africa.
The United States permanently lifted sanctions against Sudan last month in a move to acknowledge the positive changes its made regarding terrorism and human rights. The new policy is meant to encourage additional changes and comes after a 20-year trade embargo originally imposed during the Clinton era. In response, the Corporate Council of Africa has already organized a trade mission to Sudan later this year and further trade possibilities are being explored.
The North Dakota Trade Office’s (NDTO) Export Assistant Program has been creating success stories since 2006. The program identifies, screens and places talented graduate students within North Dakota businesses looking to expand their global business opportunities. Students typically speak multiple languages and come equipped with relevant business experience. Students past and present, including Vanessa from Zimbabwe, Franco from Chile, and Nadia from Russia have found success with the program as they launch careers in international business.
Stone Mill of Richardton is an illustration of North Dakota industriousness and grit. The company has overcome multiple barriers over their nearly four-decade history and has now positioned themselves for their best years yet. Stone Mill is family owned and operated by the Hoffs and Dresslers, and processes organic and conventional flax, garbanzo beans, lentils, quinoa and radish seed.
It’s getting harder to get a decent meal around here. Food security worldwide has dropped for the first time in five years according to the Economic Intelligence Unit’s annual Global Food Security Index. At play is the growing number of refugees, extreme weather, political instability and a change to the measurement criteria. While Ireland came in first, other countries such as the U.S. and nearly all of Africa experienced a drop in their score.
The State of North Dakota has been awarded a $228,225 grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which supports export growth among U.S. small businesses. The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) will administer the program for North Dakota applicants.
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.
Participants in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are moving forward after a stall caused by the U.S.’s withdrawal from the trade agreement in January. Representatives from the 11 participating countries met in Sydney, Australia last week to renew negotiations. While the U.S. is not engaged, its wishes are still being considered.