Date: June 2022
Funded by the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports
On June 13th, 2022, seven Wisconsin wood companies met with nine pre-qualified softwood and hardwood buyers from Pakistan in Green Bay to build contacts and relationships for future business. The event was made possible through a partnership between the Softwood Export Council, New North Inc., and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and is funded by DATCP's Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports. The purpose of this trade mission was to bring foreign buyers to Wisconsin to see first-hand the quality, value, and functionality of Wisconsin products that can help them achieve their business goals.
Pakistan is the fifth-most populated country in the world with more than 229 million consumers and a gross domestic product of $264 billion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that Pakistan is the 21st-largest export market for food and agricultural products from the U.S. and its import volume of forestry materials makes it the seventh-largest market in the world. Through this activity and communication with the buyers, the Wisconsin companies are expecting to create new business contacts and increase Wisconsin's forestry product export to Pakistan.
These buyers from Pakistan toured the Menominee Forestry Center and Menominee Tribal Enterprise's (MTE) facility in Neopit, Wisconsin. The group was interested in learning about the sustainability of the forestry business in Wisconsin and the U.S., manufacturing processes, products produced, and availability.
Rose Braden, President of the Softwood Export Council, said that “the visit to MTE was great. I had heard about the quality of MTE forests but I did not expect the exceptional thoughtfulness of their sustainability and forest management plan."
After the tours at MTE, the group traveled back to Green Bay for business roundtable discussions and a country briefing with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service representative of Pakistan Rashid Raja. Krista Knigge, administrator of DATCP's Division of Agricultural Development, gave a warm welcome and brief overview of the agricultural trade relationship between Pakistan and Wisconsin.
"Overall, the market is expanding at the moment in Pakistan as construction is growing and a lot of demand is increasing at the moment. That's why the U.S. is still a very competitive and a consistent market for Pakistan," said Rashid Raja.
To anticipate differences between the Wisconsinites and the Pakistanis, DATCP and the New North also facilitated an online Pakistan Business and Culture 101 orientation on June 10, 2022. This orientation gave the Wisconsin companies an overview of the business landscape in Pakistan and how to do business with Pakistani businesses from Wisconsin. The Pakistani buyers look forward to continuing this relationship with Wisconsin businesses.
For information about this visit and the recorded webinar, please contact:
Jennifer Lu, Economic Development Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)