Legislation would help Colo. industries enter international markets

The Colorado House of Representatives is considering a bill that seeks to create a comprehensive international export development program for advanced industries.

Proponents say House Bill 1193 is a tool for the state’s small- and medium-sized industries that might not have resources needed to export goods overseas. The bill will provide money, training and consulting services.

“In combination with the Advanced Industries Accelerator Act, this bill will make Colorado a major player in the advanced industries, producing high-paying, skilled jobs and a strong, sustainable economy,” said bill sponsor Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D-Arvada).

Colorado exported $7.9 billion to 234 countries in 2012, and the state’s manufactured exports and commodities are projected to be $8.4 billion in sales in 2013, an 8 percent increase. One job is created for every $165,000 in exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. That equates to about 50,900 jobs in Colorado.

“Within the next five years, 87 percent of the world’s economic growth will take place outside the United States, so it is a smart move for Colorado businesses to start exporting their goods and services and expand into global markets,” said Sandi Moilanen, international trade division director at the Office for Economic Development and International Trade.

If passed, businesses will receive reimbursements of up to $15,000 for specific international export development needs. Activities that might qualify for the reimbursements are things like trade shows, certifications, designing and producing international marketing materials and following export compliance audits.

The OEDIT will provide training sessions for businesses to learn the fundamentals of exporting and international marketing in the advanced industries. The state agency will partner with the Export-Import Bank and Small Business Administration to develop infrastructure and curriculum to help businesses that want to enter international markets.

The funding for the bill is still being worked out, according to OEDIT, which will manage the program.