The International Economic Development Council tells us there isn’t a single definition for economic development. Instead, it’s commonly described as the achievement of goals that entail job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and improved quality of life. At Greater Spokane Incorporated our programs and services assist companies in job creation, growth and retention, which lead to corresponding increases in tax revenues and a better economy in Spokane County. But competition for new jobs and new investments is not just focused on the U.S.; it happens on a global basis.
And while many organizations are focused heavily on business recruitment – bringing new companies to their region – most growth occurs through existing businesses. GSI’s slate of economic development programs includes business recruitment, along with a targeted focus on business assistance which includes meeting individually with local companies, supporting startups and entrepreneurs, educating on international trade, and certifying companies to get connected with government contracting.
Over the next few months we’ll share an overview of different GSI’s business development programs. Today we’ll focus on our international trade services.
GSI assists businesses with international trade opportunities and expansion into foreign markets. Our International Trade program works to enhance the regional economy and support job creation through the growth of local trade activity. With more than 95 percent of the world’s population – and roughly 75 percent of the purchasing power – located outside the United States, the global marketplace represents a significant opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses to expand their customer base.
To support businesses in capitalizing on this opportunity, GSI’s trade program works in multiple facets:
Promotion & Advocacy:
- Inform the community and businesses about benefits of international trade
- Give a voice to the international trade community
- Identify and support policies advantageous to international trade activity
- Connect businesses with state and federal officials who can assist with trade-related issues
- Exposure to foreign markets
- Educate about taking products or services to foreign markets
- Updates on changing trade regulations
- Strengthen existing relationships and build new ones with foreign businesses, governments and trade groups
- Connect businesses to outbound trade missions and facilitate inbound missions
- Host foreign delegations interested in the Spokane region
- Be the “Welcome Center” and first stop for foreign nationals who seek to connect with governmental and industry leaders
- Connections to trade resources and mentoring
- Certificate of Origin documentation
- Information on how business is done differently from country to country
Upcoming trade events include:
- DC Fly-in April 12 -15, with advocacy for trade-related issues
- Inaugural Inland Northwest World Trade Day on May 5, at Spokane Community College
If your company is interested in exploring international trade activities, please contact Drew Repp, our International Trade and Economic Development Manager at 509.321.3634.