By Ling-Mei Wong
The Small Business Association had a workshop on exports and imports on June 10 at the Asian American Civic Association. Six experts discussed nuances of international trade to local small business owners, with live interpretation in Cantonese.
Massachusetts’ No. 1 trade partner is Canada, with China at No. 2 and Hong Kong in the top 10, said Paula Murphy. China requires a license to import goods, so American businesses need to deal through a third party to export to China.
Jerry Blakeley, a retired entrepreneur since the 1950s, talked about finding import partners at trade shows and cultivating relationships. “If you have enough volume, go meet face to face, either overseas or at U.S. trade shows like the Consumer Electronics Show,” he said.
Logistics are another factor to consider in moving products, as time and the type of product are factors for whether they are air freight or shipped, said Moe Mitchell of UPS.
Peter Dodds spoke about his global supply chain experience, working with partners in Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Pakistan.
Former banker Michael Laffan spoke about securing credit from banks and lawyer Paula Connelly talked about legal issues in commerce, particularly for commercial entry forms.
Businesses looking to trade can consult a number of resources, such as the SBA Export Business Planner and Massachusetts Export Center, to learn about trade barriers, labeling requirements and country-specific requirements.
This post is also available in: Chinese