By Susan Zaraysky
Buenos Aires Herald
To boost US exporters to Argentine provinces, the Commercial Section of the US Embassy has established the Provincial Outreach Programme to help Argentine importers and US exporters do business.
Interested Argentine importers contact the embassy with their product request and Martín Porcel, the Provincial Outreach Programme Coordinator, looks for US manufacturers, which make that specific item and informs them about the Argentine order.
The main difficulty US exporters encounter with companies in the provinces revolves around communication. As most US business people do not know Spanish and English is not widely spoken in the provinces, the two sides run into huge barriers to trade.
Many companies outside of Buenos Aires do not have fax machines, which makes it even more difficult for foreign businesses to contact them.
To alleviate these roadblocks, Porcel receives, translates and sends the necessary catalogues for free for Argentine importers and acts as a go-between for the two parties explaining shipping requirements, Argentine import regulations and market oriented questions.
In partnership with provincial chambers of commerce and travel agencies, the US Commercial Section organizes catalogue shows for US companies around Argentina. US manufacturers send their product literature and the embassy takes care of presenting the catalogues to provincial importers.
For many years, US importers have shied away from selling to Argentina for lack of market knowledge. The embassy provides free market research reports on various industry sectors and for a fee will do a distributor search and a detailed market analysis.