NUREMBERG, Germany — They saw…so they came. Now they want to conquer.

They are the decidedly American-based companies that sensed the potential for profit in markets well beyond U.S. boundaries. One way to reach foreign shores is by setting up a booth at the IKK trade show here.

Many U.S. companies do so with elaborate booths identified by company offices and facilities in European countries. They served drinks and food of a decidedly continental flare that included beers, wines, and upscale chocolates.

Other firms used booth space in the American sector, a portion of the show floor festooned with red, white, and blue banners and American flags. And, like many red-blooded Americans, they shared a common food stand where the fare included potato chips, M&Ms, and Coca-Cola.

And while they maintained their patriotic fervor, they learned they could turn to the U.S. government for help in making a dent in the overseas market.

One exhibitor was the Amer-ican Consulate General’s office in Munich. It is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and it said one of its tasks is to “give U.S. exporters a leading edge in world markets.”

Bilingual booth officials ticked off some of their services:

  • A data bank with more than 190,000 trade-related documents including trade leads, contacts, and statistical information;
  • An economic bulletin board with online trade leads and time-sensitive market information; and
  • Structured market research reports covering market size and outlook.

    One report on a floppy disk was a Country Commercial Guide (CCG), which presented a look at Germany’s commercial environment, using economic, political, and market analysis.

  • One finding for those seeking an overseas base: “For American companies, the German market — Europe’s largest — continues to be attractive in numerous sectors, and remains an important element of any comprehensive export strategy in Europe. While U.S. investors must closely study the bottom line before buying into Germany or expanding their position, they can count on high levels of productivity, a highly skilled labor force, quality engineering, a first-class infrastructure, and a location in the heart of Europe.”

    Publication date: 11/13/2000