WASHINGTON — The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s latest international trade plan will focus on Southeast Asia and South America, and will include two full-blown trade missions, SPI officials said.
The 21/2-year plan will be unveiled Wednesday at NPE, and comes after SPI officials spent several months this year retooling their trade effort to give options to companies that do not want to spend the $10,000 typical of the major missions emphasized in the past.
SPI officials would not reveal exact details in advance, but expanding trade in Southeast Asia and South America will be focal points, according to Tim Stojka, chairman of SPI's International Trade Advisory Committee.
Stojka also is president and chief executive officer of hot-runner maker Fast Heat Inc. based in Elmhurst, Ill.
The organization also wants to get more processors on the missions, which in the past have had predominately resin suppliers and machinery companies, and hopes to target injection molders, he said.
SPI wanted markets that companies can ``go into and sell'' and stayed away from less-developed areas like Eastern Europe that still lack a strong presence of multinational corporations or U.S. Fortune 500 companies, Stojka said.
``We try to be on the leading edge but not the bleeding edge,'' he said.
Besides the full-blown missions, SPI will be scheduling several less-expensive events, such as ``gold key'' minitrade missions and catalog shows, said Lori Anderson, director of government affairs for economic and international trade issues for Washington-based SPI.
The gold key events put company representatives in foreign locales but cost several thousand dollars less and generally have less clout in lining up meetings, she said.
The catalog shows give a company a chance to pay $500 and have its products represented by a government official or SPI at a trade show, Anderson said.
All of the organized trips coincide with trade shows in the destination country, according to Anderson.
SPI also decided to hold only one major trade mission each year, instead of the two it had been doing, Stojka said.
``We didn't have time to plan it well and we couldn't coordinate with the Department of Commerce office locally,'' he said.