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UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
2014-11-18 10.47.02
By Kate Hodel
December 02, 2014

Going Global in Kansas City

Every month, more than 20 of the KC Metro’s internationally affiliated groups come together to keep the international community up-to-date on events, jointly work towards further program collaboration, and share knowledge for the purpose of a building a stronger and cohesive international regional effort. This includes a focus on global commerce and streamlining all organizations’ efforts towards helping  Kansas City companies export! Each spring, the Kansas City International Steering Committee also plans the annual program World Trade Day in conjunction with President Obama’s designated World Trade Week.

Here’s just a sampling of what’s going happening in Kansas City’s international scene.

Missouri Department of Economic Development (MO DED) reported third quarter Missouri exports at $9.86 million, a slight increase from last year. Applications for the Global Market Access Program, which supports companies in reaching foreign markets, are due Dec. 31. Trade shows and trade missions are planned for next year, including the Zoomark International trade show May 7-10 in Bologna, Italy and the International Medical Devices and Supplies Fair May 18 in Hong Kong.

Global visitors to KC
Global Ties
 US recently hosted 23 delegates from 23 different countries for Global Entrepreneurship Week. The group, which was previously called the Kansas City International Visitors Council, hosts about 300 delegates each year. 

(Right, FastTrac's Scott Carson talks with Global Ties visitors during GEW)

Kansas Small Business Development Center (KS SBDC) just concluded a training program called "The Riddle of the Exporter.” About a half dozen members of the KSBDC were certified to teach the material. All of the participants took and passed the SBA's intermediate international trade exam following the training.   

KC SmartPort had a record year in bringing foreign direct investment (FDI) to Greater Kansas City, bringing in companies from China, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Columbia, Slovakia, Russia 

Deputy U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Bruce Andrews, visited the Mid-America District Export Council in late October to solicit feedback on how the DOC could help remove barriers to trade.  

Missouri Small Business Technical Development Center (MO SBTDC) is preparing to launch 2015 Export Training Workshops. They will also be piloting an Internship Program with the MO SBTDC office in Columbia with plans to expand the program the UMKC campus in the future.

People to People International (PTPI) just completed the 2014 Global Youth Forum Nov. 5-9 with 62 young people in attendance. Cultural trips for 2015 include Tanzania and Mongolia.

U.S. Commercial Service will have a new director for the Kansas City District Office starting in January. More details to come!  

The U.S. SBA 7(a) Loan Program reached another record lending year in FY 2014, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Kansas City District Office. U.S. SBA approved 501 total between the EWCP, Export Express and international Trade loans for over $613 million. The Kansas City District Office approved 6 total between the EWCP, Export Express and international Trade loans for over $11 million.

World Trade Center Kansas City (WTCKC) has completed the initial draft of the Global Cities Exchange application, which would assist the Kansas City region in developing the first ever strategic metropolitan export and foreign direct investment plan . This initiative is spearheaded by the Brookings Institution in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase and will include a total of 28 select U.S. Cities. Twenty cities have participated and Kansas City is applying to be included in the last cohort of 8. 

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