U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service

U.S. Government Agency Helps European Companies Find Suppliers and Partners

The Commercial Service’s Düsseldorf office is one of 160 international locations.

“Our mission is to help U.S. companies find good international business partners,” says Lora Baker, Commercial Consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Düsseldorf. “And that means we work with local companies to learn about their business needs.” Baker adds, “Many businesspeople in Germany think that the U.S. is made up only of giant corporations. In fact, 90% of the companies in the U.S. are in the small or medium sized range. Similarly sized firms in Germany and Europe make the best partners these U.S. firms.”

“Our business is making perfect matches,” says Senior Trade Specialist Anette Salama working the Healthcare Technologies markets, “and we do it in a number of different ways.” Whether a German company wants to conduct its search for U.S. suppliers in person, online, via video conference, or by browsing product catalogs, the Commercial Service can help. No matter how a company chooses to go about its search, having the U.S. government behind them means fewer worries, more confidence in the companies they meet, and more trust in the whole process.

Salama and the Düsseldorf team have helped hundreds of U.S. exhibitors find partners in German, European and global markets at shows such as Medica, K’, Analytica, Wire+Tube and others. Two quotes from participants in the USDOC-organized CEO American Business Center at Medica serve as samples of matchmaking successes: “Thanks to MEDICA, we are in serious negotiations with a major French distributor.” “As a result of our CEO participation, we have agency, licensing and joint venture agreements pending and expect projected sales for the next twelve months of $ 2 million.” U.S. Commercial Service support reduces worries and stress related to approaching a new, foreign business partner and increases confidence among the two business partners.

If a company prefers to meet prospective suppliers in person, the Commercial Service offers several options. “Meeting face-to-face is probably the best way to get to know a potential supplier or partner,” says Salama. For example, the International Buyer Program recruits delegations of qualified buyers to visit major trade shows in the U.S. There are nearly 30 shows each year in a variety of sectors, including electronics, apparel, food products, telecommunications, and medical equipment. Commercial Service Germany representatives escort German company representatives to shows, arrange meetings and site visits with suppliers, and provide technical and other assistance when required, including post-show follow-up.

For the company looking for more personalized service, the Gold Key service is ideal. Commercial Service trade specialists in the U.S. will interview U.S. companies to find those that best meet the buyer’s needs. When the German representatives arrive in the U.S., all the legwork and research has been done. Interpreting and logistical support are also available. A videoconference version of this service allows buyers and sellers to exchange information without leaving home.

For more information on the U.S. Commercial Service, visit www.export.gov or call the U.S. Commercial Service Düsseldorf office at 49-211-737767-60.


The U.S. Commercial Service — Your Global Business Partner

With its network of offices across the United States and in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://www.export.gov/.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this report is intended to be of assistance to U.S. exporters. While we make every effort to ensure its accuracy, neither the United States government nor any of its employees make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information in this or any other United States government document. Readers are advised to independently verify any information prior to reliance thereon. The information provided in this report does not constitute legal advice.

International copyright, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2012. All rights reserved outside of the United States.