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High Point Market Gets IBP Designation

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The High Point Market Authority announced that Spring 2008 will mark the first time in High Point’s history that the Market has been designated a U.S. Commercial Service International Buyer Program (IBP) event. And, with opening day still a few weeks off, the High Point Market Authority (HPMA) has received notification from the U.S. Department of Commerce that the High Point Market: The World’s Home for Home Furnishings has been awarded the coveted status for Spring Market 2009. “With the Internet, ease of transportation, and free trade agreements, there’s never been a better time to be selling internationally, and we’re delighted to have the High Point Market Authority as part of the IBP program due to the Market exhibitors’ great export potential,” says Eugene Quinn, International Trade Specialist with Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service. “Throughout the past year we have worked closely with the HPMA to undertake promotion of the Market through our Commercial Service offices around the globe. The level of cooperation and commitment we have experienced from throughout the team has been nothing less than outstanding. In awarding the High Point Market IBP status again for 2009, we’re looking forward to developing this dynamic relationship further, and to joining together with the High Point Market Authority to help U.S. manufacturers of fine home furnishings export their products worldwide.” According to Brian D. Casey, president and chief executive officer of the High Point Market Authority, the International Buyer Program is designed to connect U.S. companies with foreign customers, and to raise global awareness of a designated event. “We are pleased to report that our involvement in the program is already paying off with a number of major delegations bound for High Point Market this Spring,” he says. “To date, these delegations include the West African nations of Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry and Cameroon, as well as Spain, Mexico, Uruguay and Canada. These delegations are, of course, in addition to the significant numbers of international buyers that regularly attend our Market.” The Market Authority and U.S. Commercial Service will host delegates and visitors from around the world throughout Market week in the new International Buyer Center located at the corner of Wrenn and High Streets, on the first floor of Showplace West. Additionally, a special reception has been set for Tuesday, April 8th, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the String & Splinter Club. All international guests of the High Point Market are invited. Matchmaking activities between delegates, foreign buyers and exhibitors will be led by Department of Commerce personnel throughout Market week. “Our Commercial Officers, who are on the ground in markets around the world, will be on hand to present conference sessions and country-specific briefings to exhibitors seeking assistance,” Quinn says. “While we’re here to assist companies of all sizes, we particularly want to help small- to mid-size businesses that may never have considered exporting.” “More than 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is beyond U.S. borders, so there’s really never been a better time to export,” Casey says. “And if you’re not thinking globally, it’s a safe bet that your competitors are, or they soon will be. More importantly, many companies find diversifying their customer base abroad can help buffer difficult economic cycles at home. There’s really never been a better time to take the plunge.” “The High Point Market is not just a tradeshow,” Quinn says. “Rather, it’s a real chance to increase your bottom line by looking at global opportunities. It’s a chance to meet potential partners in key countries, to open new markets, and to get off to the right start with assistance from the U.S. Commercial Service.” About the High Point Market Authority: The High Point Market Authority is the official sponsor of the High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina. Featuring an extensive selection of exhibitors spanning every category, style and price point, encompassing some 12 million square feet of exhibit space, and attracting tens of thousands of visitors from more than 110 countries twice each year, the High Point Market is the driving force of the home furnishings industry. For additional information, visit www.highpointmarket.org. About the U.S. Commercial Service: With its network of offices across the U.S. and in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. In 2007, the U.S. Commercial Service helped generate nearly 12,000 export successes worth billions of dollars in U.S. export sales. For more information, visit www.export.gov.

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