The number of visits to North Dakota by international Ambassadors has increased significantly in the last five years; in the last month alone, our state has hosted Ambassadors from Belarus, Italy and Singapore. Many times these visits are sparked by the notoriety North Dakota has gained due to economic success and abundant resources, but the discussions are enriched when ties are created in industries such as unmanned aerial systems, healthcare, technologies and agriculture. As numerous dignitaries have pointed out: North Dakota is a one-stop-shop for so many countries’ needs. And, for North Dakota companies, sitting down with these world leaders opens doors to business opportunities that may never have been realized.
When North Dakota created the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) in 2005, the goal was – as NDTO’s slogan implies – Trade Expansion through Advocacy, Education and Expertise. When companies work with NDTO, they often see immediate results when they participate in international trade missions, attend export education programming and seminars, or use NDTO resources for specific market research and expansion. This is the ‘education’ and ‘expertise’ that NDTO offers our member companies.
The ‘advocacy’ (government-to-government) part of NDTO’s mission is also an integral piece of the larger North Dakota export puzzle. When NDTO hosts international Ambassadors and provides connections between these dignitaries and our exporters, it creates a relationship that enhances business opportunities.
“Hosting international dignitaries gives exporting companies another avenue to gain information, contacts and leads and learn more about the market,” said Dean Gorder, executive director of NDTO. “In many countries and cultures, these government officials carry significantly more business influence than you would see in Western culture.”
For companies like Intelligent InSites, a Fargo-based healthcare technology company ( www.intelligentinsites.com ), the recent visit by Singapore’s Ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, helped move their business forward in Southeast Asia.
“Singapore is not only an important market, but it is a gateway to Souteast Asia as a region for Intelligent InSites,” said Jeff Fellman, account executive at Intelligent InSites. “Having someone like the Ambassador and his team visit with companies like Intelligent InSites allows us to not only share our view and experience in the Singapore market, but also gives us a very honest view of how the market views our solution.”
North Dakota and NDTO have been honored to host ambassadors from Belarus, Italy and Singapore in the past month, as well as Ambassadors from India, Indonesia and Philippines in the past year, and the goal is to invite more of these dignitaries to visit our great state and meet our companies first-hand.
“When developing an international market, the more connections that you can create, the higher the probability of success. These Ambassadors help create solid, high-value connections in their market,” said Gorder.
To learn more about the advocacy of NDTO, contact Brittany Posey at firstname.lastname@example.org.