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IBC a founding member of new International Trade Center in Lansing.

Publish Date: Monday, April 26, 2010

A new resource for regional businesses is now available in Lansing. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow joined a group of federal, state and local dignitaries in announcing the establishment of the International Trade Center of Mid-Michigan.

The ITC is a single place where regional businesses can go to get information and services related to international trade. It was created to help businesses launch exporting programs or improve and expand their current arrangements. The ITC will provide research support for new markets and products and referral assistance for export-related activities, licensing, certification, legal and financial consultation, logistics and customs issues.

"As a member of the President's Export Council, I am looking forward to the establishment of an International Trade Center in Mid-Michigan, which will foster relationships between Mid-Michigan businesses and international companies," said Sen. Stabenow.  "The establishment of this center will help businesses in this region have a greater presence in global markets and increase exports of Michigan and U.S. products and services."

The ITC is a collaboration between 11 associations, municipalities and governmental organizations that will bring their knowledge and skills together to aid Michigan businesses.

"Each one of the founding organizations brings something unique to the center that will benefit local companies," said Tomas Hult, Director of the International Business Center at Michigan State University. "A lot of companies in the U.S. make great products that could be exported if they get some advice about getting started. Small businesses often don't have the resources get started, and this center is going to make that process a lot easier for them."

The International Business Center offers local businesspeople tools to help prepare them for exporting. Online tools at use personal inputs to offer guidance complete with descriptive graphics, charts, and specific business recommendations. The web-based tools use algorithms to provide people with the best solution for their business.
The Center also offers pro bono consulting for businesses through the Michigan Export Growth Program. The program provides free consulting to answer questions businesspeople have about international expansion.
"Whether it is our world-leading online resources, diagnostic tools or our close partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the MSU International Business Center is excited to be a part of helping U.S. businesses become more competitive globally as part of the International Trade Center of Mid-Michigan," Hult said.

The community partners involved in establishment of the ITC include: The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Capital Region Airport Authority, City of Lansing Economic Development Corporation, City of East Lansing Economic Development Corporation, Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, Greater Lansing Business Monthly, Greater Lansing United Nations Association, Lansing Economic Area Partnership, Michigan Manufacturers Association, The International Business Center and the U.S. Department of Commerce.