Madison, WI. March 13, 2019 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is inviting Wisconsin companies seeking to establish or expand their exporting efforts to participate in a global trade venture to France and the United Kingdom from June 15-26. The registration deadline is April 19.

The week-long trade venture will include visits to Paris, London and Birmingham, which are markets of particular opportunity for Wisconsin companies. In each city, participating companies will be scheduled for customized business meetings with potential local partners selected specifically for their companies by Wisconsin’s authorized trade representatives in the markets, based on the company’s needs.

“With sophisticated and diversified economies, France and the United Kingdom are top markets for export growth potential for Wisconsin companies,” said Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development for WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “While these two countries are geographically close, there are key differences between the two markets as well as uncertainties related to the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. This trade venture will allow Wisconsin companies to observe firsthand how the two markets are dealing with these changes, as well as identifying potential customers, distributors and partners for exports.”

WEDC’s trade ventures offer companies a way to make connections that lead to new exports. The trips represent an excellent value since they are offered at a subsidized rate, and with logistics taken care of, participants can focus on business.

Terry Potter, Wisconsin’s authorized trade representative for France and the United Kingdom, will visit Wisconsin next week to meet with companies interested in participating in the trade venture and learning more about market opportunities.

From 8 to 10 a.m. March 20, she will speak at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Area Chamber of Commerce, at 756 N. Milwaukee Street, Suite 400, in Milwaukee. To register for the session, contact Katie Henry at or 414.287.4123.

From 10 a.m. to noon March 21, she will be at Startup Hub, 2701 Larsen Rd. in Green Bay. To register, contact Shirley Malski at or 920.424.4631.

From 8 to 10 a.m. March 22, she will be at the Chippewa Valley Innovation Center, 3132 Louis Ave. in Eau Claire. To register, contact Charlie Walker at or 715.723.7150.

Wisconsin firms interested in a one-on-one meeting with Potter during her visit can contact Stanley Pfrang at or 608.210.6777.

The trade venture begins June 15 with departure from the U.S. The trip will begin with a segment in Paris, where the local economy has recently shifted toward high-value-added services and high-tech manufacturing. Most of the largest French companies have their headquarters in Paris, and multinationals with a presence in France tend to have their offices there as well.

This trade venture was scheduled to coincide with the opening of the Paris Air Show, a major biennial event for the aerospace and aviation industry, so Wisconsin-based aerospace manufacturers and suppliers are especially encouraged to attend.

The delegation will then travel to London, which is the governmental, financial and cultural center of the UK, as well as a leading global city in the arts, commerce, education, health care, professional services, research and development, and transportation. It is the world’s largest financial center, according to several firm indexes. London is also the location of most head offices for multinationals with a presence in the UK, as well as the headquarters of British companies.

The trade venture will conclude in the city of Birmingham, the second-largest metropolitan area in the UK and home to six universities. The Birmingham economy is especially strong in manufacturing, particularly the food processing and automotive subsectors. The city also serves as a base for reaching England’s Midlands industrial region, with easy access to Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield.

Each participant in the global trade venture will also receive a customized market assessment report specific to his or her company, detailing considerations to keep in mind when introducing the company’s product or service into the French and British markets. WEDC has authorized trade representatives in these countries who can make it easier for Wisconsin companies to find local partners and can take some of the guesswork out of launching in a new market.

The program includes four nights in Paris, four nights in London and three nights in Birmingham before returning to the U.S. on June 26. The cost to attend for a Wisconsin exporter of goods or services is $2,000, which includes the market assessment, hotel accommodations, interpreter services, scheduled ground transportation and transportation among program cities, but does not include international airfare or most meals.

To learn more or register, please visit