November 18, 2010

'Go Global' seminar will launch trade center

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A seminar and luncheon will launch the new International Trade Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this month, giving area entrepreneurs insights into exporting their products or services to new markets.

The “Go Global” seminar and luncheon is Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center. The center is located at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. The seminar and lunch are free but with limited seating, those planning to attend must RSVP no later than Nov. 24 by e-mailing or calling 618/453-3805.

Warren Ribley, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, announced last month the creation of the International Trade Center at SIUC. It is one of five new centers opened with state and federal funding, bringing to 11 the number of such centers in Illinois. The goal is providing training, education and individual attention to small business owners and entrepreneurs, enabling them to compete and market in a global economy.

Less than one percent of the small businesses in the U.S. export their products or services around the world, organizers say. Those operating small or mid-size businesses who want to learn about exporting or those already exporting who need assistance in reaching a particular area with their exports will find the seminar invaluable.

“Being able to provide one-on-one, in-depth advice on international trade techniques to businesses in Southern Illinois to help them expand to the global marketplace is definitely going to positively affect the bottom line of our region and our state. This funding will allow SIUC to prepare companies to export into new markets as we continue to find new ways to help turn the economy around,” said Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development and international trade at SIUC.

The International Trade Center at the University’s Illinois Small Business Development Center offers assistance to small businesses in a variety of areas with regard to exporting their company’s products and services, including: pricing, documentation, shipping and other related logistical information, options for financing, language issues, foreign market and specific industry research, tariff schedules and industrial classifications.

During the seminar, participants will divide into two groups and attend concurrent workshops. The first track will cover the basics of exporting, including “Are You Ready to Export?” and “Export Financing Options.” The second, more advanced track for companies that are already exporting will include such workshops as “Current Issues and Trends” and “New Products/New Markets.” After the morning sessions wrap up, the meeting will reconvene over lunch with a panel including the CEOs of various companies from the region that are ready to begin exporting, that are exporting to some extent without a focused plan and companies that are seasoned exporters.

In addition, the launch will introduce to the area Anthony Cambas, an international trade consultant with more than 20 years of experience in international trade within the public and private sectors. He is a Licensed Customs Broker and Certified Global Business Professional and was previously a U.S. Customs official. Cambas, who holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Florida International University in Miami and a master’s in international customs law and administration from the University of Canberra in Canberra, Australia, is fluent in Spanish and other languages. He has assisted and even managed a variety of customs and environmental modernization projects, some funded by the United States Agency for International Development, to aid businesses in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The “Go Global” seminar and luncheon will introduce the SIUC center and its programming to the region. For more information about the Illinois Small Business Development Center and its services call 618/536-2424 or e-mail You can contact the SIUC International Trade Center at 618/453-3805.