As the 2012 Olympic Games wind to a close, American athletes have racked up nearly 40 gold medals  against the best of their international competition. They achieved those victories with hours of practice, dedication, and partnership with coaches and mentors. Like America’s Olympians, American businesses are also competing on the global stage, and the Commerce Department is partnering with them through our Gold Key Matching Service to help them win.
Gold Key Matching Services , run through the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service , is a low-cost service for American businesses to expand their global reach by making contacts with foreign firms and potential business partners.
Before business leaders go oversees to meet with prospective trade partners, the Gold Key Matching Service arranges appointments with pre-screened overseas agents, distributors, sales representatives and business partners. This cuts the time and cost to businesses in locating and vetting prospective trade partners.
The Gold Key Matching Services provide a host of other benefits for U.S. companies, including market research, industry briefings with U.S. Commercial Service trade specialists, and assistance with travel, accommodations, and interpreter services. In addition, for business leaders who aren’t able to make a trip overseas, video services are available to meet with potential business partners via videoconferencing.
For many American businesses, Gold Key services can be critical for exporting to new countries or increasing their exports. Take these success stories, for example:
- Sirchie , a Youngsville, NC, company that manufactures materials used by law enforcement officials and crime scene investigators worldwide, contacted the Commercial Service (USFCS) to explore exporting to Brazil. The USFCS provided Sirchie with information on the government procurement process in Brazil, and Sirchie utilized a Gold Key Service in Brazil to meet with key industry officials and ministries, including local police and law enforcement. This assistance from the Commercial Service helped Sirchie win a government tender in Brazil, making an export sale to the Brazilian government in the amount of $1.1 million.
- X‐Spine Systems, Inc. , located in Dayton, OH, manufactures and develops medical devices, including plates, screws and implants, for the orthopedic spinal industry. USFCS Trade Specialists from the Dayton satellite office met with X‐Spine to discuss expanding to other markets. X‐Spine used the Gold Key Matchmaking Service in September 2010 when the company attended a trade show, and in early 2011, X‐Spine informed USFCS that as a direct result of the information it received the company made a sale to the United Kingdom for over $200,000.
- Karp Associates , Inc, based in Maspeth, NY, is a manufacturer of high quality standard and custom access doors, fire rated doors, ceiling doors, roof hatches, floor doors, duct doors, and security doors. Karp Associates reached out to the USFCS in Harlem, New York, seeking assistance on approaching markets overseas, and Karp Associates scheduled a series of Gold Key Matchmaking meetings in Saudi Arabia. As a result of the Gold Key meetings, Karp signed an agreement with a Saudi business just 9 months later and shipped an initial order of access doors valued at $130,000.
These companies and many others have benefitted from Gold Key Matching Services and other U.S. Commercial Service programs as they seek to build things here and sell them everywhere. Gold Key is just one way that the Commerce Department is helping strengthen the economy, support businesses, and create American jobs. Companies interested in using the Gold Key services should contact a nearby Export Assistance Center .