AG CONNECT Expo 2011, the global agriculture trade show in North America, has been named to the U.S. Commercial Service's International Buyer Program (IBP).  AG CONNECT Expo is slated for January 8-10, 2011 (Preview Day January 7 by special admission) at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  The inaugural AG CONNECT Expo, also named to the IBP, was held in January 2010 in Orlando, Florida.

Through the IBP, the U.S. Commercial Service recruits international attendees to the show and encourages lead generation for exhibitors who sell to the global marketplace. 

"We had registrants from 62 countries at AG CONNECT Expo 2010, and attendees and exhibitors at AG CONNECT Expo 2011 will again benefit from IBP involvement, through potential trade leads and matchmaking opportunities offered at AG CONNECT," said Charlie O'Brien, the vice president of agricultural services with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).  AEM owns and operates AG CONNECT Expo. 

Only a small number of trade shows in the U.S. are selected each year for IBP status.  The program promotes these selected trade shows to a worldwide audience through its overseas Commercial Service Posts and selected embassies and consulates.  Key activities under the IBP are U.S. Commercial Service recruitment of official trade delegations to attend the shows and a "matchmaking" service to facilitate buyer-seller interaction and onsite export counseling.

"We are pleased to be partnering with AG CONNECT Expo 2011, and have solid expectations due to the exhibitors' high export potential," said Blanche Ziv, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service's International Buyer Program.  "In today's global economy it's important that U.S. companies continue to seek diversification in world markets, and this show presents an ideal venue to make key contacts at a single location."  

The U.S. Commercial Service has locations in more than 100 U.S. cities, as well as in American embassies and consulates in nearly 80 countries.  The service works with U.S. companies to expand exports and safeguards American business interests abroad. 

As part of the IBP, AG CONNECT Expo 2011 will operate a comprehensive International Trade Center during the show with services to include interpreters, message centers, phone/fax/e-mail access, meeting rooms and a lounge area. The show will also provide assistance with travel and housing arrangements for international delegations.

Regarding the difficulties faced by international travelers in getting to the U.S., AEM continues to meet with U.S. officials to try to improve the visa application process for international show participants. "International trade connections are especially important in today's economy and this issue affects international attendance at all AEM U.S.-based shows. We commend the U.S. Department of Commerce for launching a task force to review challenges faced by qualified customers trying to enter the U.S. to conduct business," said Megan Tanel, AEM's vice president exhibitions and events.

AG CONNECT Expo 2011 will offer show planning information and registration materials in several world languages.

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