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NDTO News Article

A Look Back at 2023

Looking back at 2023, we at the NDTO, have a lot to be thankful for, and we can’t say enough about how much your support means. As a non-profit, NDTO seeks to support businesses in ND to thrive through global trade, and we strongly believe a rising tide lifts all boats. As we usher in 2024, we continue to raise awareness of the superior products and minds coming out of ND and expanding globally.

In 2023 we started off the year with Gulfood in Dubai, UAE, where companies reported quality contacts and several new business opportunities. The food show features over 5500 exhibitors with nearly 100,000 visitors from 117 countries. Two additional trade missions were executed in the fall, with ND companies exhibiting at Anuga in Germany and a mulit-industry trade mission to Vietnam. The Anuga show was an excellent experience for five specialty crop companies to showcase on a global stage and engage more with European markets throughout this five-day show with more than 140,000 visitors from 200 countries. 

The multi-industry trade mission to Vietnam was a highly productive trade mission with six ND exporters who spent the week learning about the Vietnamese Market, meeting with potential buyers to discuss the benefits of their ND products, and visiting processing facilities and the port.

We welcomed new team member Rebecca Ferderer, who brought a fresh approach to member development and engagement to the NDTO. We also said goodbye to longtime export assistant Dorothea Afriyie Opoku Agyemang as she moved to Virginia and welcomed Yuuka Taniguchi as a new Export Assistant.

The spring brought about a new kind of exporter education with Betty Sue and the “Riddle of the Exporter” program that provided several ND companies with hands-on experience of the export process.

The 2023 Exporter of the Year was awarded the well-deserving North Central Commodities. Two winners of the Global Ambassador Award came to the stage this year, one featuring native North Dakotan and strong exporter advocate Bob Sinner, and the other being the Japanese External Trade Organization, Chicago Office for their continued cross-cultural support. Saul Ewing LLP was also awarded with the Service to Exporters honor for their efforts to expand and protect ND exporters.

Drew, Lindsey, and Jiwon traveled far and wide, reaching all corners of the state, the US, and many parts of the globe, continuing to build relationships to help foster and grow ND exports. Engagement continues with collaborative efforts with the ND Department of Commerce ND Department of Agriculture, many local Economic Development Corporations, along with visits to the Consulates and Embassies to showcase the many opportunities in ND. The team covered many miles during the NDTO Roadshow that kicked off in November, when Jiwon and Rebecca visited members, partners, and friends on the western side of ND.

This fall, he Big Iron International Visitors Program brough more than 80 international visitors to ND for a week of activities steeped in agriculture with farm and machinery equipment tours, networking and educational opportunities, and time at the Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo, ND.

As we come in into 2024, we don’t intend on slowing down! Gulfood in Dubai, UAE, will be the first trade mission of the year in February, supported by ND Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant. On May 15, the Global Business Connections returns with a packed schedule of international business topics, export education, and many opportunities for networking and growth. The summer will hold a trade mission for ND’s aviation companies at the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK,  followed another Big Iron International Visitors Program and a few additional trade missions in the fall. We had a stellar year supporting many of you in 2023, and we hope to continue our work as we move into what will be a memorable 2024.