The core service offered by World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) – individual, customized trade counseling – provides member companies with expert advice on all aspects of international trade, including identifying appropriate business partners overseas, understanding foreign regulations governing international business, fielding often confusing paperwork required by other countries and connecting WTCGP clients with potential in-country customers and partners. This service is key to helping companies enter into or expand their international trade and export activities, leading to expanded business and revenue.
WTCGP membership has given Sandmeyer Steel an edge in navigating international economic conditions, political and trade policies that inevitably confront any U.S. exporter. “The WTCGP counselors guided us in our global expansion. They are professional, knowledgeable and incredibly responsive.”
Referring to Sandmeyer’s successful entry into international trade markets, the company’s Vice President of International Sales, John Curley, says, “If you had told me nine or ten years ago that we’d be doing business overseas, I would have told you that you were crazy. And yet today, we are all over the world.”
Sandmeyer’s initial foray overseas was into China. In a search for cost-effective trade counseling from experts with broad and deep knowledge of all aspects of global trade, John found the WTCGP. His company benefitted from trade support from WTCGP’s status as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Southeastern PA Export representative and introductions to the Pennsylvania overseas Authorized Trade Representatives (ATRs). Additionally, through Curley’s own connections, Sandmeyer began working in Mexico, Korea, India, the Middle East and Italy. However, in short order, the company sought out additional foreign markets in which to sell its stainless steel and nickel alloy plate products.
Over the past seven years, with help from WTCGP and the Commonwealth’s overseas Authorized Trade Representative Offices, Sandmeyer has broken into numerous markets in Europe, Asia and beyond, including Germany, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan and Singapore. John credits WTCGP’s events and programs, one-on-one trade counseling, trade missions and trade shows organized by the Commonwealth of PA for laying the groundwork for his company to grow revenue through international trade.
“We found trade missions organized by the Commonwealth of PA with assistance from WTCGP and PA ATRs to be enormously helpful,” John reports. “We participated with a WTCGP and PA overseas trade representatives in international trade missions to Australia, Brazil and Singapore. Trade reps from the WTCGP and PA ATRs helped set up meetings and interviews with potential business partners in these countries.”
Whether coordinating meetings at trade shows or trade missions, WTCGP uses its expansive network of more than 300 sister WTCs worldwide, the PA overseas ATR offices network and other worldwide partners to connect U.S. businesses with overseas companies that are potential partners. As John notes, “In these countries, WTCGP helped cut through the red tape to set up interviews that led to Sandmeyer expanding its business. The coordination and connections WTCGP provided were invaluable to the growth of my company.”
WTCGP’s mission – to counsel, connect and grow trade – is borne out in the story of Sandmeyer Steel’s success in many foreign markets. “Up until we really started all of this, our only export markets were Mexico and Canada. Now we are seeing inquiries from all over the world. We had to learn how to be an exporter, and WTCGP gave us the path to do that. Now we are able to deal with anybody in the world.”
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