In addition to the state programs outlined below, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce sponsors a World Trade Center that is engaged in promoting greater Kansas City’s international business growth through a variety of programs and projects. And another organization, Kansas City SmartPort, Inc., is a non-profit corporation whose objective is to help facilitate an increase in international trade among Kansas City area businesses by developing, operating and marketing a regional international trade processing center.
The Missouri Dept. of Economic Development’s Office of International Marketing (OIM) works to promote economic growth and job creation by creating new overseas markets and expanding existing ones for Missouri-produced goods and services and by attracting job-creating foreign investment to Missouri. Missouri operates overseas offices in Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. OIM services to Missouri businesses include:
- International sales consulting and basic marketing assistance, including counseling on strategic planning, pricing, promotion, and distribution.
- Market research including competitive analysis, customized market analysis, and foreign company background checks.
- Counseling on all aspects of international financing.
- Marketing assistance including sponsorship of international trade shows, catalog shows, etc.; assistance in locating representatives, agents, and distributors; trade leads; foreign trade missions, including customized company missions; strategic alliance assistance; and publications such as Made in Missouri catalogs and the Missouri Export Directory.
- Foreign relations assistance including obtaining information and contacts with foreign governments and advocacy efforts such as government-to-government promotion of Missouri products or services.
The OIM, together with the Department’s Business Development Group and the Missouri Development Finance Board, administers the Missouri Export Finance Program, which helps companies that need financial assistance exporting to foreign markets. The programs include:
- Export Working Capital Guarantees provide an exporter with guaranteed financing to purchase finished products, materials, services, and labor; cover stand-by letters of credit and bid and performance bonds; or to fund foreign marketing activities.
- E-Im Bank Export Credit Insurance insures against both commercial and political risks. Insured receivables can enhance an exporter’s ability to obtain export financing and allow an exporter to offer more attractive credit terms to foreign buyers.
- Mid-America International Agri-Trade Council (MIATCO) offers a variety of programs and services to help exporters of Midwestern food and agricultural products begin or expand their international sales and their Branded Program assists with funding of foreign marketing activities.
- Supplier Credit Guarantee Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is designed to make it easier for exporters to sell U.S. food products overseas by guaranteeing short-term open account financing. The guaranteed amount can be assigned to a bank for payment.