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HUNDREDS VIE FOR LIMITED SPOTS IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY'S 2018 NIGERIA TRADE MISSION DELEGATION: Economic Development Corporation Hosts Information Session On the Next on the Horizon - Nigeria

Largo, MD, May 2, 2018 - Yesterday, the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation(EDC) hosted the 'Nigeria Trade Mission Information Session' in anticipation of a Trade Mission taking place August 13th through August 19th. Over 100 Prince George's County based business leaders were in attendance to learn how to do business in Nigeria, collaborate with potential business delegates, learn about business to business opportunities and get vital information about the 'Networking with the USA Conference'. Attendees heard from Carey Arun, Commercial Officer with the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Export Assistance Center, Brian Castleberry, Regional Manager for Africa with the Maryland Department of Commerce, and Nicole Woods, Business Development Specialist with EXIM Bank about the resources their respective entities can provide to help small businesses thrive in international markets. Jim Coleman, the EDC's President and CEO is elated to kick off the journey to Nigeria.
 
"We're headed home as the V.P. of Sales and Marketing for our local companies," said Coleman. "We couldn't be more excited about traveling to Nigeria to cement business relationships with our 'cousins' in the gateway to the continent of Africa. At the EDC, we pride ourselves in providing County business leaders with every resource possible to increase their bottom line; and that's exactly what we're doing with this Trade Mission. With our partners from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Maryland Department of Commerce along with other financial institutions who can help defray some of the Mission costs, my team has been able to put together a first-class package that we're confident will position County business leaders for success."
 
During the information session, potential trade delegation members heard about the hottest sectors in Nigeria and why they should consider investing in its booming economy. Attendees were also informed about specialized resources such as the ExportMD Program available through the Maryland Department of Commerce that can reimburse up to $5,000 for international marketing expenses to qualified applicants, and the Gold Key Service (customized scheduled appointments with fully vetted potential foreign partners) that U.S. Commercial Services Office provides to assist companies in establishing relationships with potential overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives and strategic business partners before they land. The attendees also learned about the pre-export financing and post-export financing that the EXIM (Export-Import) Bank to ensure that companies have the working capital they need to fulfill their exporting business transactions.
 
"Maryland is the #1 exporter to Nigeria and represents the best prospects for U.S. exporters," said Carey Arun, with U.S. Department of Commerce. "Our organization specializes in assessing the export potential and understanding the needs of businesses looking to export their goods and services, and helping them to achieve their exporting goals. We have a lot of people working with us in a variety of countries around the world who can help local exporters with commercial diplomacy, advocate on their behalf with public sector procurements, and help translate the language and business culture. In essence, we will hold their hand and skip down the road to success with them; and we get results!"
 
The Trade Mission to Nigeria will also include access to the 'Annual Networking with USA Conference', sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service. During the conference, participating companies will be able to meet with over 400 vetted companies who are looking for U.S. suppliers and partners.
 
Within the past few years, the EDC has led successful trade missions to China, Korea and Cuba.  This year's Trade Mission will be the first in the continent of Africa in several years and there are plans to soon explore South Africa. Future trade missions are also being developed to connect local business leaders to Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
 
The deadline to secure a seat for the Trade Mission to Nigeria is June, 1, 2018. To learn more about the Trade Mission to Nigeria, please contact Martin Ezemma, EDC's Director of International Business Development, at muezemma@co.pg.md.us or Sangrea Watkins at swatkins@co.pg.md.us. Seats are limited.