Minneapolis, MN–July 11, 2013–Diversified Plastics, Inc. was part of a recent Minnesota trade mission to Germany, Norway and Sweden from June 12-21. Representing Diversified Plastics was Annette Lund, company vice president. She was part of a 35-member delegation of business and education leaders and government officials led by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. According to Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the goal of the trade mission was to attract foreign direct investment and identify distributors and new business partners to increase exports. She said Germany and Scandinavia are key export markets for Minnesota, generating over $1 billion in annual export sales for local companies.
“Earlier this year, the Minnesota Trade office, part of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), asked if we would be interested in joining the governor’s trade mission to Europe,” said Lund. “We had not given much thought to doing business in Europe, and this opportunity piqued our interest. We applied and were selected to join the delegation and thus able to explore the possibilities.”
Preparation for the trip included a pre-mission meeting for participants to address expectations and a two-day program, Gateway to Europe, featuring members of the U.S. Commercial Service operating in the countries the delegation was about to visit. “This gave us an opportunity to meet with the Commercial Service people before our trip and discuss opportunities for establishing business contacts and ways to promote our company,” Lund said.
In each city they visited, delegation members met with industry representatives and business leaders in conferences arranged by the U.S. Commercial Service. “I had opportunities to meet with groups from plastic trade organizations in Sweden and Germany to learn more about the plastics industry in their countries,” said Lund. “We discussed ideas for potential partnerships with European molders and our counterparts seemed to be very receptive to the ideas.”
In Oslo, Norway Lund visited the Oslo MedTech offices where she had a chance to meet with the agency’s staff and medical device industry executives. “We met with a company that was expanding to the United States and discussed a possible partnership where we would manufacture for them here,” she said. “This was the type of business opportunity we were looking for.”
While in Germany, Governor Dayton announced the establishment of a new Minnesota Trade Office in Düsseldorf to promote exports and foreign investments in Minnesota. The Minnesota delegation was present for the announcement and it provided them a unique opportunity to meet with governmental officials and other business leaders that they would not have had if visiting Germany on their own.
“The trade mission opened up my eyes to the possibilities of doing business in Europe and I realized that it would not be as hard as I once thought—it’s just takes time, effort and planning,” added Lund. “This trip opened doors for us; we made key contacts, explored potential partnerships and learned of the resources and tremendous support from the Minnesota Trade Office and U.S. Commercial Service.
About Diversified Plastics, Inc.
Employee-owned Diversified Plastics is a contract manufacturer specializing in custom injection molding of high-precision, close tolerance, small- to medium-sized injection molded components for medical device, filtration, aerospace and a variety of other industrial markets. The 36-year-old company is a full-service injection molder, from design assistance and mold construction, to intricate molding and clean room assembly. Diversified Plastics is ISO 9001:2008 and 13485:2003 certified, ITAR certified, and UL registered.