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Doing business in Europe

Nordic Tugs has received an award from the U.S. Department of Commerce in recognition of the company’s successful move into foreign markets.

The company, which signed its first international dealer in June 2007 in the United Kingdom, says the European market now makes up 10 percent of its annual sales. Last week, it reached an agreement to sign its first Russian dealer.

The Burlington, Wash.-based company isn’t the only boat maker to experience growth in the European market, and elsewhere internationally. As the U.S. economy continues its slump, manufacturers are looking elsewhere to make up for the sales that are being lost domestically.

With exchange rates where they are, “American-made products are on sale everywhere in the world,” Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA, recently told Soundings Trade Only. “You’ve got some builders whose domestic sales may be down, but in many cases its offset in part or in whole by their export business.”

Soundings Trade Only will examine this trend in the June issue.

Is the international market the answer to all manufacturers’ prayers in these economic times? Are smaller boat builders, who may not currently sell overseas, able to keep up and get their product out there for the world to see?

What do you think of this trend?

- Beth Rosenberg
Staff writer

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