The International Trade Administration has announced that applications for assistance from its International Buyer Program and its International Buyer Program Select service for trade events taking place in the first quarter of calendar year 2019 must be received by March 19. The ITA notes that it is accepting applications for only this time period because an IBP review that may result in new ITA products and services for trade shows may not be completed in time for such products and services to be provided for shows that occur during this time.

The purpose of the IBP is to bring international buyers together with U.S. firms in industries with high export potential at leading U.S. trade shows. These shows receive assistance such as global promotion in foreign markets, export counseling to exhibitors, recruiting potential buyers to attend events, matchmaking services at the trade show, and physical staff assistance at events.

The main difference between IBP and IBP Select is that the former offers worldwide promotion while the latter focuses on promotion and recruitment in up to five international markets. Specifically, through IBP Select the ITA selects domestic trade shows that will receive assistance in the form of targeted promotion and recruitment in up to five foreign markets, export counseling to exhibitors, and export counseling and matchmaking services at the trade show.

The ITA expects to select approximately eight events for IBP assistance and three events for IBP Select assistance in the first quarter of 2019. The ITA will select those events that are determined to most clearly promote U.S. exports, especially those of small and medium-sized enterprises, and that best meet the selection criteria. These criteria have to do with export potential, level of international and exhibitor interest, scope and stature of the event, U.S. content of products, overseas marketing, logistics, and delegation incentives.

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