SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is leading trade delegations to Germany and Mexico as the state’s Santa Teresa border region sees its exports rise.The New Mexico Economic Development Department and the New Mexico Trade Alliance are hosting trips to trade shows and offering grants to help businesses, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.The state in March will lead trade delegations to a trade fair for hunting, shooting sports and equipment for outdoor activities in Nuremburg, Germany. In addition, New Mexico will take a delegation for a solar power event in Mexico City.A delegation also will travel to Germany in April for a trade show on industrial technology.Officials said a Small Business Administration State Trade Expansion Program grant will cover the booth lease costs that can amount to $5,000 to $7,000.Companies must be export-ready and produce enough to cover international market demand for their products, said Edward Herrera, director of the Office of International Trade at the Economic Development Department.Santa Fe companies Santa Fe Stoneworks and Wicked Edge have attended the Nuremberg shows several times.“The state assisting us with a booth, that’s a whole different thing,” Santa Fe Stoneworks owner Bill Wirtel said. “With the help of New Mexico Economic Development, it was feasible to go back a second year (and more years).”Wirtel estimates government subsidies covered 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the cost of going to an international trade show.He said he met a Danish entrepreneur at the Nuremberg, Germany, show that led to the creation of a second Santa Fe business for Wirtel, Raffir USA. This company does U.S. distribution of fossils from the North Sea, hard woods from Bulgaria and Chinese composites supplied from Denmark.The trade delegations come as New Mexico’s Santa Teresa Port of Entry in Dona Ana County has seen a rise in traffic.In 2016, for example, Dona Ana County’s total exports grew to $1.6 billion, surpassing Albuquerque’s $1 billion.The Associated Press
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