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Port of Baltimore Magazine January/February 2017

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Economic Development / Trade Assistance


The Baltimore County Department of Economic Development works to support businesses as they grow their markets through international trade. The Department offers export assistance designed to reduce the risk of international business for both first-time exporters and experienced companies. The Department also works with international concerns looking to invest or locate operations in Baltimore County.

Because a company is likely to require the involvement of multiple partners for export or import transactions, the Department brokers and coordinates resources on the company’s behalf. Services include agent/distributor searches, market research, trade missions/shows, overseas representative support, export working capital loans, seminars, exporter insurance, foreign buyer financing, international company profiles and international grant programs.

The Baltimore County Department of Economic Development accesses services in partnership with public and private organizations including the World Trade Center Institute, the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development’s Office of International Business, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Export Assistance Center and the Maryland/ Israel Development Center.

In order to facilitate trade and investment opportunities with the world’s largest consumer market, the Department has initiated a unique partnership with the Maryland China Center Office. Baltimore County businesses are eligible to receive professional, customized and personalized services from a skilled trade representative in Shanghai.

To learn more about these and other services available to Baltimore County businesses, contact:
Baltimore County Department of Economic & Workforce Development

Historic Courthouse
400 Washington Ave., Ste. 100
Towson, MD 21204
Fax: 410-887-8017
E-mail: businesshelp@baltimorecountymd.gov www.baltimorecountymd.gov/agencies/economicdev/baltimorecountybusiness/index.html

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The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) is a non-profit organization, which serves as the economic development agency for the City of Baltimore. BDC’s mission is to retain and expand existing business while attracting new opportunities. By working collaboratively with City government and private partners, we are committed to providing services to help businesses grow and thrive.

Baltimore Development Corporation
36 S. Charles St., Ste. 1600
Baltimore, MD 21201-3015
Fax: 410-837-6363


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The Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States, assisting in
financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. The Ex-Im Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing), export credit insurance, and loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing).

Export-Import Bank of the U.S.
811 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20571
1-800-565-3946. ext. 3927 or 3928

Fax: 202-565-3380

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The Maryland Department of Agriculture International Marketing Program prepares companies to be export ready and internationally competitive, and facilitates export transactions. The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) also serves as a leader in export marketing services for Maryland agricultural products, providing global opportunities and communication channels for Maryland companies and industry associations.

With a wide range of services tailored to individual companies, the MDA is nationally and internationally known for its innovative and progressive programs that enhance trade. In addition to developing state-funded initiatives, the MDA manages federally funded programs in conjunction with Southern U.S. Trade Association, U.S. Livestock Genetics Export and others.

The MDA has a strong outreach and education program. Coupled with effective and energetic use of state and federal resources, and in partnership with the state’s business community, industry associations, universities and trade development offices, the MDA encourages more small- and medium-sized companies to be successful in the international marketplace.

The MDA demonstrates a practical international approach for creating jobs, expanding economic activity and generating government revenue.

In conjunction with local, regional and national partners, the MDA has actively encouraged decision-makers to place more emphasis on high-value agricultural products as a significant and viable contribution to economic growth, influencing policies regarding export programs and administration.

The MDA’s International Marketing Program’s goal is to increase the export sales of Maryland food and agricultural products in order to strengthen the state’s economy by expanding job and income opportunity through international trade, commerce and reverse investment programs.

International Buyers
The State of Maryland is a one-stop shop for high-quality, competitively priced food and agricultural products. Maryland offers an excellent selection of processed foods, seafood, poultry, dairy, snack and gourmet foods, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, spices and condiments. The MDA will source products for international buyers quickly and efficiently.

Maryland Exporter
The MDA provides a number of services to identify potential markets and prospective buyers of Maryland products. Businesses can receive individual counseling and benefit from the expertise of a professional international marketing staff member.

The MDA can:

  • Assist Maryland farmers, watermen and
    agribusinesses entering the global marketplace.
  • Coordinate marketing and financing with
    international trade associations, the Foreign
    Agricultural Service, the Ex-Im Bank, the
    Inter-American Bank, and the U.S. Department
    of Commerce.
  • Exhibit Maryland food products at trade shows
    around the world.
  • Conduct trade missions with foreign countries
    to increase product export potential.
  • Develop trade leads and identify foreign buyers,
    importers and distributors.
  • Provide technical assistance regarding
    freight forwarders, Letters of Credit, financial
    institutions and phystosanitary certificates.
  • Assist companies applying for U.S. Department
    of Agriculture Market Access Program grants
    designed to stimulate exports.
  • Conduct training seminars to develop
    international marketing plans.

Maryland Department of Agriculture International Marketing Services
50 Harry S. Truman Pkwy.
Annapolis, MD 21401

Fax: 410-841-5999

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In 1988, Maryland’s governor signed a Declaration of Cooperation with Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, declaring:

Maryland and Israel, sharing the desire to strengthen their ties and develop their relations for the mutual benefit of their peoples:

Recognizing the special significance of trade, science, technology and communications to the
economies of the two states and the well-being of their inhabitants:

Wishing to pursue … joint activities, programs, ventures of mutual benefit and exchange of ideas …
in both the public and private sectors …:

Declare their intent … to cooperate in exploring arrangements between the Department of Economic Development of the State of Maryland, the respective ministries of the State of Israel as well as
between academic institutions and private entities.

From this Declaration, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) was created as a
partnership between THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

The mission of the MIDC is to help create jobs both in Maryland and Israel by promoting
trade, joint ventures and investment between businesses and research institutions. Staffed
by professionals in both Maryland and Israel, the MIDC identifies market and technology
opportunities, and introduces Maryland and Israeli executives, entrepreneurs and investors to each other so that they may negotiate mutually beneficial agreements.

Some of the services and programs offered through the MIDC are:

  • TechMatch Program brings together Israel’s brightest high-tech and life science entrepreneurs with American business and industry experts, as well as investors, to develop effective business development strategies along with the tools, funding and connections to execute it successfully in the U.S. market. This cloud-based system automatically matches Israeli entrepreneurs with relevant industry experts and provides an easy mechanism for the experts to review company information and network with potential customers, partners and investors in the U.S. market.

  • Israel Investor Network is an e-club of qualified and accredited investors interested in learning about Israeli high-tech investment opportunities.

  • R&D Program supports collaborative new high-tech product research, development and commercial- ization conducted by Maryland and Israeli company teams. It is a joint program of the MIDC, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) and the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, whereby DBED and OCS provide parallel funding for the companies to collaborate.

  • Trendlines Israel Fund I, L.P. offers investors the opportunity to realize substantial long-term capital appreciation through investment in early-stage Israeli companies in areas of medtech, agritech and cleantech.

  • MarketReach AmericaTM and MarketReach Israel are the MIDC’s corporate partnering programs, connecting companies to business opportunities in each others’ markets. One-on-one business meetings are scheduled for the visiting entrepre- neurs with potential customers, distributors, strategic and R&D partners, and investors.

For more information about the Maryland/Israel Development Center, call:
Maryland/Israel Development Center

401 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Fax: 410-333-6792

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The Office of International Operations, a part of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, was created to develop international business activity in Maryland. This office assists companies from around the world with setting up and maintaining profitable U.S. operations in Maryland.

International Operations also works to make Maryland’s world-class products and services more competitive internationally. The State’s international trade professionals provide small-and medium-sized Maryland companies with access to international market intelligence, targeted trade activities, financial assistance, and high-level introductions to potential customers.

Programs and Services:

  • Trade Development Program – international
    marketing strategy development and transactional assistance for Maryland’s exporters.
  • ExportMD Program – grants for international
  • Foreign Office Network – extending state
    resources around the globe, with representation
    in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the
    Middle East.
  • Maryland Export Assistance Network – five
    locations throughout the state providing
    convenient access to in-state resources for
  • EuroRep / ChinaRep Program – affordable
    full-time business representation program
    for companies marketing to Europe and

For more information contact:
International Business Center / Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development
401 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

Fax: 410-333-4302


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In 1994, the federal government first established export assistance centers throughout the United States through passage of the Export Enhancement Act of 1993. The Baltimore center opened in 1994.

The 16 U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEAC) and vast network of Export Assistance Centers (EAC) operate as a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Admin- istration (SBA), the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) and other public and private organizations.

The export assistance centers are a bold and innovative step toward providing, in a single convenient location, hands-on export marketing and trade finance support for small- and medium- sized companies. The concept of the center hinges on: 1) streamlining the delivery of federal services; 2) leveraging resources with partner organizations; 3) taking advantage of communications technology; and 4) continuing to focus on export-ready manufacturers and service providers.

Trained export counselors work with clients to assist in developing customized international business strategies. Through the export counselors, companies have access to resources of the federal agencies as well as state and local providers.

Export counseling is the primary service of the U.S. Export Assistance Center and is provided without cost to companies looking to export into new markets or to expand in existing markets. In addition, a number of fee-based products from the U.S. Department of Commerce are available to clients for specific services to achieve these aims:

  • Display advertisements in Commercial News USA
  • Gold Key Service: appointments in foreign markets
  • Trade Missions
  • Customized market analysis

The state also maintains a small grant program for Maryland companies entering new markets.

The export assistance centers are part of the worldwide U.S. Commercial Service which maintains 130 offices in 70 countries. The collection and distribution of foreign commercial information and contacts are the primary tasks of Commercial Service offices in the U.S. Embassies and Consulates. The information collected is distributed quickly to our export assistance centers. In addition, the Commercial Service’s foreign offices work with American companies to advocate on their behalf for foreign government tenders and to resolve trade complaints.

Partnerships with other key export service providers are integral to the export assistance centers. The Baltimore USEAC’s partners include the Maryland Office of International Business, the World Trade Center Institute, the Maryland Port Administration, and the Economic Development Offices of Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties. Export counseling is also available through the District Export Councils, the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), and the Export Legal Assistance Network (ELAN), all of which is arranged through the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Baltimore.

Trade finance assistance provided by SBA, Ex-Im Bank and the State of Maryland is available for local businesses interested in selling their goods and services abroad. The Baltimore USEAC staff will assist businesses in obtaining export credit insurance, pre-export financing through working capital guarantees, and medium- and long-term loans and guarantees for overseas buyers. Working with a client’s bank, a financing package customized to a specific transaction can be delivered by the export assistance centers.

Exporting with the guidance offered by the Baltimore USEAC helps to minimize risk and realize the opportunities inherent in selling into the global market.

For more information, contact:
The U.S. Export Assistance Center / U.S. Department of Commerce

300 W. Pratt St., Ste. 300
Baltimore, MD 21201
Fax: 410-962-4529
Bill Burwell, Director

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The World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) strengthens the mid-Atlantic international community through the power of education, information and worldwide connections. The WTCI, a private, non-profit membership organization, conducts business training seminars, performs international market research and provides customized in-house training focusing on international issues.

The WTCI represents its members and the State of Maryland in the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), a worldwide organization facilitating international business and fostering world trade.

The WTCI’s homepage (www.wtci.org) allows users access to all WTCI activities, including our membership database and international trade leads, as well as online registration for any WTCI event. A members-only section grants access to value-added services such as our interpreters and translators guide, our regional business networks and members-only news. Members are also allowed their own space on our page to help market their products and/or services. The WTCI also hosts more than 700 visitors a year through its International Visitors Program (IVP). Leaders in government, media, education, science, labor, technology and waterfront development all come from overseas and take part in meetings pre-arranged by the IVP. Through this program, relationships are fostered between city and state governments, non-governmental organizations and private business, all in the spirit of international exchange and goodwill.

Programs of the WTCI include:

  • International business training seminars.
  • International market research.
  • World Trade Resource Center (WTRC) ? a library
    of international trade resources and information.
  • Company referrals in response to domestic and
    international trade leads.
  • Trade missions to foreign markets.
  • Membership in the World Trade Centers
  • Sponsorship/marketing opportunities.
  • Regional networks focusing on Latin America,
    Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia.
  • Networking opportunities through special
    events including Embassy Day, Maryland
  • International Business Leadership Awards, and
    a Membership Reception Interpreters and
    Translators guide.

For more information on any of the WTCI’s programs and services, call:
The World Trade Center Institute
401 E. Pratt St., Ste. 232
Baltimore, MD 21202
Fax: 410-576-0751

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