Vernon imported some top authorities on exporting to discuss the process of reaching foreign markets Thursday.
The city hosted a trio of Trade and Investment B.C. representatives, who toured a number of North Okanagan enterprises, and then offered their expertise to participants at a seminar that afternoon at the Tolko Industries building on 28th Street.
Provincial representatives lending their export advice included: John McDonald, managing director, East China (Shanghai); Kyung Suk Kim, managing director, Korea (Seoul); Mindi Hertzog, director, Western U.S. (Palo Alto, Cali.) and Henry Han, director, China (Vancouver).
Winney Chow, of Burnaby-based Trade Technologies, also gave a talk on how digital technology is affecting the export business.
That was followed by an overview of Trade and Investment B.C., and how its representatives can provide in-market assistance for B.C. companies.
A number of local businesses then arranged private interviews with the reps to pitch their businesses, similar to The Dragon’s Den, and discuss export potential.
Kevin Poole, Vernon’s economic development officer, said the event was all about helping regional businesses tap into prime export markets.
With key offices in China, U.S., U.K., Korea and India, he added Trade and Investment B.C. will become a valuable resource for them moving forward.
“They’re on the ground and they have a team behind them,” said Poole.
“Some of them are extremely connected. We’re trying to connect some of our companies with these guys and see if they can open up some opportunities for them.
“You never know where it’s going to go.”
The role of the Trade and Investment reps is to not only assist provincial companies looking to access new markets, but to also attract new investment to B.C.
To give the representatives an idea of what Vernon-area industry has to offer, they toured a number of businesses, including Kal Tire, Kingfisher Boats and Aspenware.