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The foreign exchange

October 9th, 2015 / By: / Industry News, News

If IFAI decided to give out a Most PowerPoint Slides Award, there’s no doubt the association would bestow it upon Mary Lynn Landgraf, senior international trade specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel. Her IFAI Expo Advanced Textiles presentation titled “New Approaches to Selling to the Military” comprised a whopping 122 slides.

Landgraf clearly had a boatload of information to convey, but that really was a point she wanted to make about OTEXA.

“We could be your newest best friend, because we are a free resource,” she said. “We are a major source of information.” OTEXA counsels and assists companies with strategy, trade data, exporting, market research, trade missions and business “matchmaking.”

“We do everything we can to work with the Department of Defense, all the agencies. Where can we take your company’s information and let them know about you?

“We are big innovation and function as a one-stop shop for international companies seeking U.S.-based partners to share innovation, as well as manufactured goods.”

For those who think of the military market as the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, Landgraf had this to say:

“When you look at the U.S. budget, the budget is the budget. There are huge budgets out there in other countries.” In particular, she pointed to the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, as well as Canada. In fiscal year 2015, foreign military sales amounted to $19.7 billion.

Landgraf started her presentation by talking about the game-changing “Internet of Everything.”

“By 2020, there will be 24 billion connected devices, totaling an estimated revenue of $1.2 trillion. That’s five years off, so some dramatic economic changes are underway,” she said.

It doesn’t take a Euclidean mathematician to recognize that even a small percentage of more than a trillion dollars is worth pursuing. And while it doesn’t take a lot of money to go after that carrot, it does require time and focus. Companies cannot sit on the porch hoping that U.S. and foreign military markets will drop by. In the U.S. market alone, they need to register with the System for Award Management. Once you have a SAM number, you can research the grants.gov site.

Nor do companies need to apply for passports to get representation abroad. For $950, they can have themselves represented by OTEXA at trade shows such as those upcoming in France, Germany, and Mexico. OTEXA provides leads gathered from the shows. All the participating U.S. companies have to do is follow up. It hardly gets easier than that.

It was no surprise to see attendees of Landgraf’s presentation lining up afterward for CDs she proffered on various aspects of governmental foreign markets.

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