International Trade Offices
Through the Council of Great Lakes Governors,
four of the Great Lakes States have formed a voluntary, non-competitive partnership to advance and enhance their international trade initiatives. The mission of the shared trade offices is to offer responsive and comprehensive services to small and medium sized companies from the Great Lakes region seeking to expand product and service sales. Currently, there are seven Council of Great Lakes Governors shared trade offices:
- Sydney, Australia
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Toronto, Canada
- Santiago, Chile
- Shanghai, China
- New Delhi, India
- Johannesburg, South Africa
Benefits to Being a Shared Trade Office Member
The greatest benefit to participating in the Council’s shared trade offices is their cost-effectiveness. By sharing fixed overhead costs as well as the salaries of foreign trade officers, a Member State has the opportunity to maintain a presence in an established or emerging market that might otherwise be prohibitively expensive to enter. The Member States also benefit from an ongoing forum to share information as well as the administrative assistance of the Council of Great Lakes Governors staff.
The Shared Trade Office Model Has Succeeded in the Great Lakes Region
The shared trade office model has proven to be a great success for the Great Lakes States and the Council of Great Lakes Governors. The common Midwestern culture and strong working relationship among the Governors and their international trade teams has been instrumental to this success. Similar product and service portfolios have also allowed the foreign trade offices to promote each Member State individually while under the umbrella of the collective support of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.