Seven Michigan companies head to South America hunting deals

LANSING—Business leaders from seven Michigan companies will travel to Brazil and Colombia Sunday to meet with prospective partners, distributors and customers to increase export opportunities in these markets.

The trade mission, taking place March 24-29, is being coordinated by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (GSGP) in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. International Trade Program.

The program is committed to increasing Michigan’s exporting opportunities by helping businesses identify and enter key emerging foreign markets. Since its inception in 2012, the International Trade Program at the MEDC has worked with Michigan companies to support more than $2.6 billion in export sales and 12,389 jobs across the state.

The participating Michigan companies will receive a customized schedule of business-to-business meetings to meet with prospective customers and business partners. Matchmaking meetings in Brazil were arranged by the Michigan Brazil Center, while Colombia meetings were arranged by the GSGP Affiliate Center in South America. Mission participants will also benefit from networking events and logistical support. Participants are:

  • Challenger Communications LLC (Albion) – Manufacturer of antenna systems and mounts. Products range from 1-meter quick-deploy models to 12-meter earth stations. Designs and manufactures trailers for systems that require mobility.
  • Littlite LLC (Whitmore Lake) – Manufacturer of gooseneck task lights using sturdy metal components in critical areas that provide solutions for challenging lighting problems.
  • Supply Chain Solutions (Grand Rapids) – Provider of supply chain management and improvement.
  • Thunderbird Aviation LLC (Harrison Twp.) – Manufacturer and distributor of airplanes available in a variety of packages, ranging from kits to fully assembled aircraft.
  • Corrigan Air and Sea Cargo (Romulus) – Provider of turnkey supply chain management services.
  • eVitamins (Utica) – Online retailer of health and beauty products including vitamins, supplements, herbs, skin care and more.
  • (Midland) – Develops and manages databases and software for environment, health and safety (EHS) requirements.

Export sales facilitated by the MEDC International Trade program in fiscal year 2018 were more than $7.3 million to Brazil and more than $3.7 million to Colombia. Total exports from Michigan to Brazil in 2018 exceeded $1 billion and total exports from Michigan to Colombia the same year were more than $131 million.

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers unites the chief executives from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec and Wisconsin.

Other recent trade missions supported by MEDC include Arab Health in Dubai and Automotive Meetings Queretaro in Mexico.


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