The Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium, better known as NEOTEC, has the big-picture view on the region’s ability to be a big player in the global market.
An economic development partnership of 10 Northeast Ohio counties, including Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne, NEOTEC was formed in 1996 to enhance the region’s position by promoting trade and business growth.
“Never before has there been such good opportunity for our companies to send their products into foreign markets,” says Ron DeBarr, president and CEO of NEOTEC. “We assist area companies in finding new export markets, work to attract foreign investment to create jobs, and have created a regional logistics network.”
Through its Global Business Development Initiative, NEOTEC is improving the competitive position of the region through several initiatives: Foreign-Trade Zone 181, the International Trade Assistance Center and the Northeast Ohio Logistics Network, a collaboration of shippers, third-party providers, government officials and economic development groups that address the region’s transportation issues.
To that end, NEOTEC members plan to attend 15 domestic and two international trade shows and marketing events this year to promote Northeast Ohio and attract jobs and investment.
To create a smooth process for international companies seeking to invest or move to the United States, NEOTEC plans to form a Global Response Team of area experts in international law, finance, global logistics, culture, relocation assistance, utilities, health care, work-force development and information technology selected by invitation to serve a specified term. NEOTEC will coordinate deployment and prioritization of the team.
NEOTEC also handles the administration of Foreign-Trade Zone 181, a unique global management supply-chain tool that helps U.S. companies save money on tariffs and compete in the global economy. NEOTEC is grantee of the foreign trade zone, which includes 35 sites and more than 6,000 acres throughout the 10-county NEOTEC region. There are more than 270 zones in the United States, and 181 is ranked eighth in the country in total volume of goods processed through the zone.
“The program is continuously growing as more and more companies are doing business globally and finding significant cost savings by locating in the zone,” says DeBarr.
Since 2004, NEOTEC has served as host site of the International Trade Assistance Center of Northeast Ohio, which promotes economic growth through exports by offering free export counseling services to small- and medium-sized businesses that are interested in developing international markets, and to existing exporters wanting to expand markets.
To help Northeast Ohio manufacturers become a global player on the manufacturing front, ITAC formed a partnership with the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) and its World Trade Center Cleveland division to provide resources to target international business. ITAC is also collaborating with Cleveland State University’s Nance College of Business to increase U.S. export activity through assistance and counseling to Northeast Ohio businesses.
Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium
Kent State University Administrative Services Building
Kent, OH 44242