APEC Seminar Teaches Small Montana Businesses To Think Globally

Posted: May 26, 2011

Sustainable Lumber Co. APECWell we’re back from APEC. We had a great time and we’re very encouraged with the potential of exporting our products overseas. As the U.S. economy struggles we are optimistic about sending our Montana made flooring and doors to countries looking to add a piece of the Old West into their homes andbusinesses.

Here is a featured story from NBC Montana about the growing potential for small businesses like ourselves to sell on a global scale.  Click here for the video

BOZEMAN, Mont. — The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is a worldwide summit that brings together countries from the Pacific Rim to promote free trade and economic collaboration. It has been held in places like Peru, Singapore, and Japan, this year APEC has come to Gallatin County. Senator Max Baucus invited over one hundred small businesses from across the state to Bozeman to discuss expanding their markets beyond Montana. Having such a global affair happening in your backyard is not lost on those involved.

“Giving us an opportunity to show them about our business infrastructure, what kinds of products and services we have to sell,” said Executive Director of Montana World Trade Center Arnold Sherman, “there’d be no way that this could be matched, it’s really an unparalleled experience.”

Ryan Palma, who owns Sustainable Lumber Company, was thrilled to have such a seminar held in the state, “To have that come to Montana, with a population of less than a million people, its incredible to see in the opportunity that we have as a very small company to increase globally”.

Today’s seminar was about exporting around the world and how even small companies, like Palma’s in Missoula, can have a global impact. “It’s opened our eyes to think, hey we have a chance to really impact local business, create jobs in sending our product outside the U.S.,” he said.

“We have a whole array of small size businesses with interesting products that are impressing our foreign visitors,” claimed Sherman, “they weren’t aware of what we had”.

While small business owners from all across Montana are constantly looking to expand, it’s not often they get a chance for face to face meetings with representatives from twenty countries around the world.

“It’s crucial to international and global trade to have those personal interactions and to meet and see the people that you ultimately are gonna be your partners, your distributors, you vendors, this is unmatched”, Sherman said.