Regional businesses interested in international marketing could get a boost, thanks to a grant awarded to Virginia Tech's Public Service Programs by the U. S. Department of Commerce's Commercial Service Rural Export Initiative. The grant will fund two seminars on export procedures, one at the Southwest Higher Education Center in Abingdon on Sept. 4 and the other in Charleston, W. Va. on Sept. 5. J. Douglas McAlister, director of program development for University Outreach and International Affairs (UOIA), announced the grant. Public Service Programs is part of UOIA Program Development.

The seminars will cover an overview of international product marketing; quotations; contract administration, export and banking documentation; presentation of documentation to customs and banks; and export logistics within and outside the United States.

The seminar in Abingdon will also feature a supplemental afternoon program on opportunities stemming from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the resultant simplified procedures involved in exporting to Mexico.

Chad Miller, economic development specialist with Public Service Programs, said that the grant resulted from the success of last year's seminars co-presented with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce Export Assistance Center, Charleston, W. Va. office.

Through the Rural Export Initiative (REI), the U.S. Dept. of Commerce Commercial Service provides companies in rural areas with better access to export assistance and global market research by connecting them with international trade services and increasing the number of companies in rural areas engaged in exporting. The long-term goal of the program is to empower companies and communities in order to revolutionize the way global business is done. The Commercial Service currently has Export Assistance Centers in 18 rural areas

For more information on the seminars or on Virginia Tech's other training and consulting services for businesses, contact Miller at chadm@vt.edu or at (540)231-8324.

For additional information on the Rural Export Initiative, visit the Department of Commerce's web site at http://www2.usatrade.gov/website/website.nsf/WebBySubj/Main_RuralExportInitiative.