Achieving International Growth through Trade Missions

Stefanie Pohl

Friday, May 5, 2023

MEDC’s International Trade Managers help Michigan businesses overcome obstacles by identifying resources and making introductions to jumpstart their momentum in a foreign market


Doing business internationally doesn’t have to be foreign. That’s why the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) International Trade team provides information and opportunities for Michigan businesses who are interested in expanding their business globally. Michigan is well-positioned to attract global customers, and the MEDC recognizes global trade as a key component of the state’s economy.

In addition to financial assistance for export-related activities, legal training and connections to over 130 global markets through our International Trade Centers, trade missions are a key piece of the puzzle that makes up the MEDC’s International Trade Services.


Mission: Possible
The International Trade team hosts trade missions to countries around the world for Michigan businesses to network with potential buyers, partners and distributors with the goal of increasing the value of their exports. Trade missions encompass the range of International Trade Services offered by the MEDC, with International Trade Centers providing a schedule of qualified B2B meetings based on participants’ industries and objectives and companies utilizing MI-STEP grants to alleviate the costs.


Trade missions can consist of B2B meetings taking place at potential buyers’ or partners’ facilities in-country, but missions can instead revolve around industry-specific trade shows, with kiosks to exhibit and meeting space available for participants at a Michigan pavilion. In June 2022, the MEDC hosted a trade mission to Eurosatory in Paris, the largest international defense and security exhibition for land and air held every two years. Michigan companies including Barron Industries, Huron Industries, Inc. and Riveer Environmental exhibited at the Michigan pavilion to experience the value of presenting their products and networking with potential clients on a global scale.


In the first half of 2023 alone, the International Trade team will have hosted trade missions to India, Africa, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Australia and Southeast Asia, as well as attended IDEX in Abu Dhabi, UAE and Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy.

The International Trade team works with several partner organizations – including Automation Alley, the Michigan Defense Center and Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers – to help market trade missions to Michigan’s businesses and assist them in-country.

Michigan companies VS Aviation, Oasis Advanced Engineering and Global Automation Technologies find the MEDC’s trade missions so valuable that they attended two each between February and March 2023, optimistic that these activities will result in increased international sales.



Michigan Company Testimonials
Hear from Michigan business owners about their experiences attending a trade mission in 2023 with the MEDC:

For anyone interested in entering a new market with their product or service, it's a no-brainer to join a trade mission. The support provided as well as the financial assistance offered through the MEDC and SBA’s MI-STEP grant makes this an incredibly valuable experience for your company. This all-inclusive service helps to reduce the stress on the logistics, allows you to focus on your touch points with potential customers, and you get to have some fun along the way!

David Thimm, Sundberg-Ferar

MEDC-Automation Alley trade mission to India, January 10-19, 2023


We expect an increase in sales and eventually additional Michigan jobs created as a result of this trade mission and future collaboration in Africa. The fact that Michigan’s in-market representatives gained a deep understanding of our industry and our firm during the customized market research ahead of the trip, it equipped them with the knowledge to exploit additional resources and establish even more matchmaking opportunities once we were in-country.

Samer Karadsheh, VS Aviation

MEDC-GSGP trade mission to South Africa and Kenya, February 13-17, 2023


Provided our contacts generated by this visit comes to fruition, I can see 30-50 new jobs in Michigan being created. The value of trade missions in terms of networking is immeasurable, plus MEDC providing an exceptional booth for us to call home base at the show was key in making our participation meaning. The Michigan Arab Gulf Trade Center worked hard to set up matchmaking meetings even after we were in country, which were all very productive to achieving our objectives for the trip.

Roger Burrows, Loc Performance

MEDC trade mission to IDEX, February 20-24, 2023


Interested in your business going global? Learn more about the MEDC’s International Trade Services at


Contact Us

To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.