Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher encourages Kentucky companies to participate in trade mission to Chile

Press Release Date:  Friday, July 15, 2005  
Contact Information:  Carla Blanton
Michael Goins
Jodi Whitaker

FRANKFORT, Ky. – In response to the rapid growth of international exports from Kentucky companies, Governor Ernie Fletcher and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong, along with several local, state and federal partners, are inviting Kentucky companies to participate in a business development trade mission in Santiago, Chile as part of the Governor’s “Export Kentucky” initiative.

Export Kentucky is designed to enhance existing export assistance programs in the Commonwealth while raising awareness of free trade agreements and increasing export opportunities for existing Kentucky businesses.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Kentucky’s small and mid-sized companies interested in establishing or increasing exporting markets to South America,” Governor Fletcher said. “There is enormous potential for Kentucky products and services internationally.  This trade mission will help foster relationships between Kentucky companies and potential buyers ultimately creating more opportunities for our workforce.  I encourage Kentucky’s small business community to get involved in the Export Kentucky Initiative.”

Officials from the Cabinet for Economic Development, with assistance from its South American Trade Office in Santiago, Chile, will lead the delegation on October 9-14, 2005.  The objective of the trip is to introduce Kentucky companies interested in doing business in Chile with potential business partners.  Business delegates will have the opportunity to meet specific business objectives including exposure to market opportunities and meet with pre-screened companies and other potential buyers of various products and services. 

Participants will also have the option to attend Expo Retail 2005.  This trade show is one of Latin America’s premier retail events and will reach more than 22,000 professional and technical people in the food, beverage, hotel and restaurant sector.

“Kentucky has seen a substantial increase in its exports over the last few years.  More and more small Kentucky businesses are finding that there is a need for their products and services on an international level,” stated Secretary Strong. “The Cabinet’s International Trade Division and Trade Offices in Santiago, Chile and Guadalajara, Mexico have been instrumental in assisting companies in exploring and establishing exporting opportunities.”

Governor Fletcher, the Cabinet for Economic Development and His Excellency Andrés Bianchi, Ambassador of the Republic of Chile, in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – TradeRoots and the U.S. Department of Commerce, announced in March 2005 that Kentucky had been selected to participate in the TradeRoots program, the nation’s leading sustained grassroots trade education program dedicated to raising public awareness of international trade on the local level.  

Exports have proven to be of great economic value to individual companies, as well as the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Kentucky exports rose 21% in 2004 compared to 2003, from $10.7 billion to more than $12.99 billion.  Kentucky is first in the nation in the exportation of livestock and livestock products.  More than 53,000 direct jobs, 38,000 indirect jobs and 51,000 induced jobs in the Commonwealth are sustained by exports to foreign countries.

Companies interested in learning more about how their business can take part in the trade mission are encouraged to contact the Cabinet for Economic Development’s International Trade Division at 800-626-2930 or email  

Organizers:  Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky World Trade Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce – TradeRoots, U.S. Department of Commerce, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce- NKITA.