MDA: Mississippi businesses invited to business missions to Costa Rica, Panama – Mississippi Business Journal (blog)

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) will lead a
delegation of Mississippi businesses on a business development
mission to San Jose, Costa Rica and Panama City, Panama from
July 14-20, 2013. The trip is designed to connect Mississippi
companies looking to expand trade and create new business
relationships with opportunities in the two markets.

“In recent years, Mississippi, as well as the U.S., has seen an
increase in exports to Costa Rica and Panama, and the demand
for U.S. products in these two regions continues to grow,” said
MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “The U.S. has free
trade agreements in place with both Costa Rica and Panama,
which benefits Mississippi businesses that export to the two
countries while fostering economic development in those
regions. I encourage Mississippi businesses interested
expanding trade into these two Central American markets to make
plans to join MDA on this upcoming business development

Qualified participating small businesses are offered financial
incentives through the U.S. Small Business
Administration-funded Mississippi State Trade Export Promotion
(STEP) program to help offset certain costs related to the
trip. The STEP program reimburses eligible businesses up to 50
percent of their travel costs, including airfare and lodging,
and provides interpretation services at no cost. Additional
services include scheduled appointments with prospective,
qualified buyers, local transportation assistance and a
customized itinerary.

“MDA has contacts in Costa Rica and Panama, so we are able to
pre-qualify buyers, distributors and business representatives
prior to meeting with the Mississippi businesses that
participate in this business development mission,” said Skip
Scaggs, director of MDA’s Existing Industry and Business
Division. “We work with businesses before, during and after the
trip so they are aware of the business opportunities available
to them and understand how to fully take advantage of those
opportunities. It is a very cost-effective way for Mississippi
businesses to expand trade into these two markets.”

Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served
basis, and early registration is recommended. The deadline to
register is May 13, 2013. For more information or to obtain a
registration form, please contact John Mark Skinner at (601)
359-9406 or Interested parties can
also visit to learn more about the agency’s
international marketing services and events or to request a
consultation with an international trade specialist.

Source: Mississippi Development Authority



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