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International Business: Doing Business in Spain

Nathaniel Nelson, our international trade officer, reports on the recent roundtable discussion in Portsmouth held earlier this week. – Ed.

New Hampshire’s 20-mile coastline is home to numerous maritime technology businesses eager to expand their reach to distant shores.

Representatives of these firms came out to a recent roundtable discussion with Angela Turrin, an international trade specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Spain.


Angela Turrin, left, at the recent roundtable discussion about doing business in Spain.

Why was this an important meeting for these New Hampshire businesses? For the valuable insight it provided into a market that can only come from those with first-hand knowledge.

During the meeting, Turrin provided her thoughts on many cultural factors, such as ways to cultivate relationships and the tempo of business transactions in the region. Entry into foreign markets is no easy task, so foreknowledge is extremely valuable.

The meeting enabled local businesses to learn the value and benefit of the many partnerships that the State of New Hampshire has built with national and international partners. It is these partnerships that can help make entry into a foreign market go from challenging to manageable.

As we saw here and at previous roundtables, unique opportunities often arise. Those attending this meeting were introduced to a new overseas market, were able to ask questions, and put forth ideas to the experts. During the exchange, Turrin learned about the capabilities of these New Hampshire companies, which will serve her well as she works on establishing business connections for them.

The takeaway for these companies is that they need to explore maritime opportunities in the Iberian Peninsula. According to Turrin, that region serves as one of the main gateways to the European market due to its strategic location near France’s border and the Cantabrian Sea, with open access to the Atlantic Ocean and the cultural and geographical closeness to Africa. The Basque Country is also positioned as one of the world’s leading regions in the field of marine renewable energies.

Participating businesses received valuable insight into some of the niche trade shows for future participation (e.g., Oceanology International, Ocean Business) and highlighted some ways that US companies could benefit from partnering with the U.S. Commercial Service. Participants were provided with a list of European distributors of marine science and ocean technologies.

Nathaniel Nelson  International Trade Officer Office of International Commerce

Nathaniel Nelson – Office of International Commerce

The meeting concluded with remarks noting that Spain and Portugal have a lot of room for growth and trade in the Marine Technology sector and that this is a demand that New Hampshire businesses can meet.

Now that the businesses have been provided with some stones to lay a foundation for entry into the markets discussed, they can now begin taking the next steps of building upon those stones and, ultimately, grow their business.

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