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Minnesota Trade Office Expands International Representation
Minnesota Ag Connection - 06/08/2018

The Minnesota Trade Office, part of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Thursday announced the opening of seven international representative locations that will provide export promotion and assistance to Minnesota companies selling goods and services globally and work to attract foreign investment from companies looking to do business in Minnesota.

The seven offices are located in Canada, Mexico, Japan, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia and the ASEAN region (Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei).

Minnesota Statute 116J.966, Subd. 1, paragraph 11, states that the Commissioner of DEED may enter into contracts to establish and maintain offices and other types of representation in foreign countries, to carry out the purposes of promoting international trade and attracting investment from foreign countries to Minnesota.

"This expansion is great news for Minnesota businesses, farmers and our state's economy," said Governor Mark Dayton. "These new offices will create more opportunities for Minnesota exports across the globe, which already support more than 118,000 jobs in our state."

"International trade and foreign direct investment are critical to Minnesota's diverse economy," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "We are strengthening these relationships because it is important that we have representatives on the ground in some of the most important economic regions in the world."

"We are listening to what Minnesota businesses and global markets are telling us," said Gabrielle Gerbaud, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office. "It is important to be prepared and have international representation to best serve the interests of our small- and medium-sized business and to continue positioning Minnesota for future growth."

The seven international representatives are comprised of either private contractors or consulting firms with knowledge in international trade and foreign direct investment. Contracts were awarded through a competitive process. In 2017, Minnesota exported $21 billion of goods to 203 different countries. Canada, Mexico, Asia and the European Union are Minnesota's largest export markets.

Internal trade supports about 118,000 jobs in Minnesota, and more than 100,000 Minnesota jobs are supported by foreign-owned enterprises operating in Minnesota.

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