On October 15, I was honored to lead a webinar for Virginia companies investing and exporting overseas. The webinar was sponsored by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the state of Virginia’s economic development agency, for their Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program companies. We discussed how to navigate overseas government, and Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) guidelines. Colleen Conry, the co-leader of Ropes & Gray’s Government Enforcement group, partnered with me to discuss FCPA compliance.
VEDP assists companies in the Commonwealth that are looking to expand their business on a global scale and focuses on “cultivating new business investment, fostering international trade growth and encouraging the expansion of existing Virginia businesses.”
Qualified companies in the VALET program, VEDP’s International Trade program, have enormous support from the VALET team, which, in addition to educational webinars and seminars, includes, $15,000 toward export related expenses, 25 program partners offering pro bono services, executive training, international sales plan development, educational events, and customized research (i.e. market analysis, technical assistance, competitive intelligence).” There are 50 companies in the program at all times, with a quarter of that number rotating in and out every January and July and 124 companies have graduated from the program. In addition, 94% of companies expand into new international markets, companies experience a 54% increased in international sales over the two year program, and 86% establish partnerships with international companies, which is very impressive!
At Worldwide Insight, we know that Governments at every level around the world can dramatically impact – positively or negatively – whether businesses fully reach their potential or fall short so we were excited for the opportunity to share our knowledge with VEDP and the VALET program companies.