Q: What is WEDC’s Global Network?
A: The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) Global Network consists of marketing and business consultants in a number of key markets around the world that serve as the eyes and ears for Wisconsin firms. These Authorized Trade Representatives (ATRs) can assist businesses with a variety of tasks to support exporting initiatives, including: evaluating market potential; identifying possible agents, distributors or end users; making arrangements to visit the market and providing useful tips on how to navigate the local business culture and structure follow-up activities. Their ultimate goal is to help Wisconsin companies get products into new international markets.
Q: What qualifications do ATRs have?
A: WEDC’s ATRs are not WEDC or State of Wisconsin employees and are specifically chosen to ensure they have direct experience in their markets. Often, ATRs are members of local business associations with extensive networks of contacts, and have access to a wide variety of publications and databases available in their local languages upon which they can call to evaluate the demand and competitive environment for products.
Q: What services can ATRs provide?
A: Trade representatives can assist Wisconsin companies with a number of services to help build business relationships and expand product reach. For example, ATRs can conduct market assessments, which include: macroeconomic and industry analyses; product analyses; descriptions of existing marketing and sales channels; tariffs, taxes and other costs; and regulatory issues that could affect the importation of products. ATRs can also help with identifying potential agents, distributors, representatives or end users who meet or come closest to ideal business partners in the market. Additionally, WEDC’s ATRs schedule meetings with contacts when companies visit the market. In fact, visiting a contact’s office, factory or warehouse is a good way to determine if the contact is a good fit for doing business. The ATR can also provide tips on what to expect in business meetings, how to compose oneself during meetings and how best to follow up afterwards.
Q: In which markets are ATRs available?
A: WEDC has contracted with 16 different ATRs who can provide services in 79 different countries. Click here to see a map showing the countries covered.
Q: How much do ATR services cost?
A: Since WEDC’s ATRs are independent businesses, they charge for their services, but WEDC has negotiated discounted “Wisconsin” prices for companies who are introduced via WEDC. Prices vary among markets and projects based upon local costs and the amount of work needed to complete a task. Before any project is started, the ATR will issue a Scope of Work outlining the time and estimated cost to conduct it; then, the Wisconsin company will have the chance to decide whether to accept the estimate before being charged.
Q: How can I start working with an ATR?
A: Contact one of WEDC’s Market Development Directors to learn more about the Global Network. WEDC staff can arrange complimentary introductory conference calls with any ATRs to discuss initial impressions of market potential and strategies to achieve international sales success.