Business leaders say the key to growth for many small to medium Central New York companies might be selling their products overseas.
They’re being encouraged to seek the services of the newly re-launched Central New York International Business Alliance. Many of the board members represent some of the area’s larger, more experienced exporters like INFICON in East Syracuse.
The sensor technology manufacturer actually won a prestigious export expansion award last year for doubling its foreign sales in two years. President Peter Maier says exports have been a primary driver behind his company’s growth.
“Exporting is the only way to participate in faster growth in other parts of the world unless we want to export the jobs with the products. I believe we have many great businesses right here in Central New York that can grow faster and do better if they export or export more of their goods and services.”
The newly re-tooled export alliance keeps many of its existing services like consulting, mentoring, and education, but adds paid staff dedicated to seeking out companies interested in breaking into new markets. CenterState CEO Vice President David Mankiewicz says alliance director Steven King has already called on 60 companies and identified 300 million dollars in potential export sales.
Mankiewicz says the region has about $8.7 billion in exports, which he says is actually below average.
"Even with that number, we’re an underperformer.”
Just over 11 percent of Central New York’s gross domestic product, or GDP, comes from foreign sales. That’s compared to 13 percent nationally, and 35 to 50 percent for countries like Germany, Korea, and China. There’s a renewed effort to encourage Central New York businesses to tap into markets overseas.
Mankiewicz says that means there’s significant potential for small and medium sized local companies to grow. But not all of them have the know-how or resources to export their products or services. That’s where the newly revamped CNYIBA comes into play.
Alan Fink is the CNYIBA’s Board President and Vice President of Con Med in Utica, which does half of its sales overseas. He says exports have been on the sidelines nationally and locally, even though 95 percent of consumers are outside the U.S.
In addition to Fink, the new CNYIBA features a number of other company leaders with experience in exporting that they can share with those new to the market. The alliance will provide mentoring, consulting, and educational programs, and even help send local firms to trade shows in places like Singapore and South Africa.
The new CNYIBA includes:
- Experienced Export Consulting
- Export readiness analysis
- Organized Trade Missions to Key Growth Markets
- Export Plan Development Assistance
- Detailed Market Research
More information is available at cnyiba.net