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Expert tells CNY businesses to invest in China

Mark Lewis shared the goods on China with CNY manufacturers.
Emma Jacobs
Mark Lewis shared the goods on China with CNY manufacturers.


You probably don't remember the "5 tips for making it big overseas" that Department of Commerce specialist John Tracy shared back in December.

What if they'd been served over lunch?

The Foreign Commercial Service's Mark Lewis was in Syracuse Wednesday to give businesses the skinny on bringing their products to China."We'll hear a lot, especially in an election year that we're losing out, giving up the farm or whatever, China's eating our lunch, but ... the opportunities, the potential to sell more goods to China is growing by double digits," says Lewis.

Growing markets

Lewis identified growing sectors of the Chinese economy with room for outsider players, including green tech like solar panel manufacturing and health care.

Central New York fields a strong team of medical device manufacturers.

A number of these companies are among the founding members of the Central New York International Business Alliance (CNYIBA) which brought Lewis to town.

The Alliance holds educational forums like this working meal regularly for businesses that want to pick up tips about doing business overseas

The forums are run by that very same John Tracy from the Commerce Department.

PPC was one of the companies that launched CNYIBA with Tracy, but it's not a medical device company. PPC makes connectors like those for TV cable boxes. But the company does export to 23 countries around the world, including China.

Gail Cawley, the company's Director of Global Logistics says being able to meet with and call up other companies that have gone before PPC into markets abroad has been key to making it into some of the planet's biggest markets.

"There's a lot of moving parts to it and it is generally around costs ... nowing what we have to do to go into some of those countries and being able to make good decisions based on that."

The big picture: Doubling exports by 2015

The association has been revitalized alongside an Obama administration push to double overseas exports by 2015.

For that to happen, advice about combining good products with good prices and contacts will have to reach a lot more ears.

"It's not the people that are rocket scientists that are getting there. It's the people that keep coming back and keep insisting that challenges be answered and questions be answered and we find different ways around the barriers that are there," says Tracy.

Former WRVO/Central New York reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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