Expo Partner program looks to breed local exporters

Written by  //  January 12, 2012  //  Government  //  No comments

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Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José Pérez-Riera

Puerto Rico Trade and Export’s Expo Partners service is offering local companies an opportunity to work with international trade experts to develop and implement a plan to expand the scope of their products or services beyond the island’s shores.

“We’re currently starting to recruit businesses interested in benefiting from the services of Expo Partners in the next edition that will begin early next year,” Economic Development Secretary and P.R. Trade Executive Director José Pérez-Riera said Wednesday.

The service is the result of a partnership between P.R. Trade and AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run organization, to provide companies established on the island access to local and international “human capital” with training in international commerce.

The candidate company must go through an evaluation process prior to being accepted into the program. Once accepted, the AIESEC staff — who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in international business and trade — will help develop and implement an export plan through a six-month internship program in the participating companies.

“They will help businesses make breaking into foreign markets a reality, by developing an export plan,” Pérez-Riera said. “Expo Partners has been a successful service since its inception, being awarded at the international level, in Guatemala, as the best business venture project in the region, and receiving reports of outstanding results from companies that participated in the first two editions.”

Companies confirmed they were able to: strengthen their business and export capacities after identifying key markets for their products; develop different pricing structures; get the intellectual resources to develop their export program; and put together an export department to carry out their vision.

To participate in the Expo Partners program, companies must be established in Puerto Rico and be certified by P.R. Trade as having the capacity to export. The company must also have a product or service with export potential, as well as the financial and production capacity needed to follow through with the venture. The would-be participant must be one that has not yet exported, or has done so sporadically, Pérez-Riera noted.

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