Print Edition

  Email News Updates

CNY International Business Alliance encourages, educates on exporting

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE — The Central New York International Business Alliance (CNYIBA), an organization formed to enhance global sales of companies in the 12-county region, uses education and trade missions to encourage regional companies to export their products.

That’s according to Steven King, CNYIBA director.

The CNYIBA is based at the office of CenterState CEO, the region’s primary economic-development organization, at 115 W. Fayette St. in Syracuse.

The CNYIBA, which dates back to the mid-1990s, relaunched Oct. 24, 2013 with the announcement of new programs and services to support growth through exporting.

The alliance provides outreach, mentoring and consulting services, educational programs, and will offer trips for international-trade missions, says King.

He spoke with the Business Journal News Network on Nov. 24.

In his role, King will meet with area businesses that are facing different types of challenges in exporting. 

“They might have some questions on an international distributor contract. They might have some compliance problems. They might have a logistics challenge that they can’t get through. And we’ll provide resources and connections, as well as advice and guidance directly from us to those companies to resolve their challenges,” says King.

The organization has worked with more than 160 local companies in the last year, including manufacturers and service firms, he adds.

The CNYIBA also offers educational programs and services to help local companies “build their knowledge, reduce their fear, and allow them to feel more comfortable exporting,” says King.

The educational programs include ExportNY, a four-month international business development program, which Syracuse University and the Central New York Technology Development Organization present in collaboration with the CNYIBA. 

“We’ve put 15 companies through the program this year and we’re going to run probably two programs next year as well to help companies build export plans,” says King.

The alliance is in touch with companies that have experience with exporting in given fields that can help mentor other firms hoping to sell their goods in overseas markets.

King used an example of a medical-device company that might want to export to a particular region. The CNYIBA is connected with “other device companies that aren’t competing” but could share their experiences of handling compliance issues in a country such as Singapore. 

CenterState CEO and the CNYIBA see exporting an “important” method to grow the region’s wealth, says King.

He notes that 95 percent of the global population and 75 percent of the planet’s wealth are located outside the U.S.

“There’s a lot of opportunity out there,” he adds.

He also notes the U.S. currently has 21 percent of the world’s middle-class citizens, a figure that will drop to 20 percent by 2030 because the middle class in nations such as Brazil, China, and India is “rapidly growing.”

“American companies should be playing in those areas to take advantage of those middle classes growing their demand for all sorts of products,” says King.

Trade missions
The CNYIBA conducted trade missions to China in August and to the ASEAN region in early November.

ASEAN is short for Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Cambodia, according to the ASEAN website.

The trade mission to the ASEAN region targeted firms selling digital-electronic devices that wanted to explore exporting possibilities in those countries, says King.

The International Trade Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provided CenterState CEO with a grant of $225,000 from its market-developer cooperator program, andCenterState CEO provided nearly $475,000 in matching funds for such trade missions.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the CenterState CEO grant on Aug. 27, 2013, which was part of a total of nearly $2 million in financial assistance to support projects that sought to increase exports, create jobs, and “strengthen American global competitiveness,” according to the department’s website.

The CNYIBA uses the grant to sponsor and subsidize the plane tickets and some of the research involved, says King.

“It allows them to get face-to-face with the players in the industry that they’re in … in those markets,” he adds.

The October 2013 relaunch of the CNYIBA follows the 2011 development of the CenterState Export Plan, which a group of regional partners devised with the Brookings Institution, a private, Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit organization that focuses on independent research. 

The plan called for a lead agency to provide export services and guidance to local companies, and the CNYIBA holds the designation.                        

Contact Reinhardt at

Thank You For Visiting