How do I locate trade leads for my exporting business? How do I locate potential distributors?

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The Commerce Department offers many programs to assist exporters with trade leads:

The Trade Opportunities Program provides trade leads that arrive daily from U.S. embassies abroad. These leads are printed in the Journal of Commerce and other private sector newspapers.

The Central and Eastern Europe Business Information Center (CEEBIC) and the Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States (BISNIS) offer trade leads for their respective regions. Both offices are part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's USA Trade Center in Washington, DC. Their number is 1-800-USA TRADE.

Country Directories of International Contacts provides lists by country, foreign directories of importers (showing name, address, telephone number, etc.), government agencies, trade associations and other organizations in countries where the Commercial Service maintains a presence. This list represents the primary sources of contact information that each U.S. Commercial Service post thought would be useful and does not represent an endorsement of any of the services listed. It is available on the National Trade Data Bank (see question 4 for more information on the NTDB).

International Partner Search is a customized search on behalf of U.S. companies seeking foreign representation. U.S. commercial officers abroad conduct the agent/distributor search based on requirements specified by the requesting firm. The search for agents and distributors takes 60-90 days and costs $600 per market. You can place an order for this service through our office at (801) 255-1871.

Gold Key Service is custom-tailored for U.S. companies planning on visiting a foreign country, combining orientation briefings, market research, introductions to potential partners, interpreter service for meetings and assistance in developing a marketing strategy. A Video Gold Key Service, a custom-tailored program via videoconference is also available. Contact our office at (801) 255-1871 for more information regarding this service.

International Buyer Programs look for contacts at your industry's trade shows in the United States. U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service officers worldwide recruit qualified foreign buyers to attend the selected trade shows. These shows are extensively publicized through embassy and regional commercial newsletters, catalogs, foreign trade associations, chambers of commerce, travel agents, government agencies, corporations, import agents and equipment distributors in targeted markets.

Trade Missions - Usually focusing on one industry or service sector, trade missions provide participants with detailed marketing information, advanced planning and publicity, logistical support and pre-arranged appointments with potential buyers, government officials and others. Participants pay between $2,000 - $5,000, depending on locations and number of countries visited. Missions usually consist of 5 - 12 U.S. business executives. For more information regarding upcoming Trade Missions, contact our office at (801) 255-1871.