MSUToday
Published: Oct. 15, 2014

Helping Michigan companies export

Contact(s): Tomas Hult International Business Center office: (517) 353-4336 hult@msu.edu, Kristen Parker University Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 klparker@msu.edu

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has again contracted with Michigan State University’s International Business Center to assist Michigan companies with their exporting efforts.

MSU’s IBC has been working with MEDC since 2012 to provide exporting market knowledge, tools, advice and workshops to Michigan companies. Under the newest contract, IBC faculty, staff and students will work one-on-one with Michigan companies.

For example, the team will help determine if products are ready to export, if the proper infrastructure is in place, which markets and customers to target and a number of other trade issues for companies going international. Additionally, IBC will offer frequent workshops to educate businesspeople on exporting and trade issues.

MEDC is Michigan’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, talent and jobs, tourism, film and digital media incentives, arts and cultural grants and overall economic growth.

“Our strategic collaboration with MEDC is a unique partnership that helps Michigan companies in grow their businesses and, by doing so, create economic prosperity for the state,” said Tomas Hult, director of IBC. “Our partnership also provides tremendous practical and research experience for IBC’s 30 student assistants.”

Michigan ranked eighth in the country in merchandise exports in 2013 with a total of $58.6 billion, an increase of about 3 percent since 2012 and a new record for the state, Hult said. About 14,800 Michigan companies exported in 2013, and this trade supported nearly 1.1 million jobs in Michigan. And about 30 percent of Michigan’s manufacturing workers depend on exports.

MSU’s IBC was recently reaffirmed as one of only 17 Centers for International Business Education and Research in the country by the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Congress created the CIBERS under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 to increase and promote the nation’s capacity for international competitiveness. MSU has been a CIBER institution since 1990.

Tomas Hult is director of MSU's International Business Center. Photo by G.L. Kohuth