American companies seeking to succeed in the international market should strive to communicate effectively in the countries where they want to do business, international trade representatives said here recently.
The trade reps, who live and work in 20 countries in all regions of the world, gathered at Iacocca Hall for an event called Bringing the World to You, which was hosted by Lehigh’s Small Business Development Center as part of Pennsylvania’s International Week.
The trade reps are contracted by the state’s Office of International Business Development to help Pennsylvania businesses market and sell their products overseas.
Seth J. Vogelman, the trade rep from the Middle East Regional Office, said U.S. suppliers need to send the correct message to foreign companies if they are to have any hope of success.
Vogelman also said that Middle Eastern companies lose interest in doing business when they are addressed incorrectly. He attributed many of the U.S.’s communication problems to lack of awareness of the cultures of other countries.
Roger Nagel, the Harvey Wagner Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, also called on American companies to learn and understand other cultures. His address was titled “Supply Chain Management Insights.”
Irene Tsai, the Taiwan trade representative, said she helps recruit Taiwanese students to study at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.
Bringing the World to You is sponsored annually by Lehigh’s SBDC. Several local organizations, including the Lehigh Export Network, cosponsored this year’s event.
Besides giving businesspeople the opportunity to meet with trade reps, Bringing the World to You included workshops on international trade laws, international finance options, the Lehigh Valley foreign trade zone, and supply management.
Cora Landis, program director for SBDC’s International Trade Development Program, organized the event.
The Lehigh SBDC helps small businesses in the Lehigh Valley get started and expand. SBDC offers educational opportunities, training seminars, consulting and financial advice.
In addition to their stop at Lehigh, the state’s international trade reps visited nine other regions of the state.