The potential exists to increase local companies’ sales through exporting. CCEDC hosted a round table discussion where over a dozen Chippewa Valley companies asked questions about the advantages of exporting their products to Central Europe. Paul Smerda, the Senior Manager at Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) European Trade Representative Firm in Berlin, Germany lead a discussion and answered questions concerning the upcoming WEDC trade venture to Germany in June 2020, market trends, and recommended pro-active sales strategies for doing business in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Scandinavia. Wisconsin has a history of strong German immigration and shares many similarities such as a strong manufacturing base, an emphasis on quality, and instilling a strong work ethic. In 2018 Germany was Wisconsin’s 4th largest trading partner exporting $814 million worth of goods and services showing it is ripe for local companies to consider the opportunities offered by the region.

While in the Chippewa Valley CCEDC also organized local business tours. Smerda, along with WEDC’s Export Development Manager, Stanley Pfrang, Charlie Walker, President/CEO of CCEDC, Klaus Bauer, Sales Manager of Huebsch Services and Amy Koller, Public Relations of CCEDC toured W.S. Darley, Spectrum Industries and Nordson EDI. This opportunity allowed Smerda to see first hand some of the outstanding Chippewa Valley manufacturing companies that compete daily in the global market place.