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Time Is Ripe for Trade Mission Applications


A roadside fruit stand in Guatemala.

If it appears the franchise trade mission calendar is stacked in favor of the fourth quarter or thereabout, it is. The Southern China and Taiwan mission is August 21-28; Central America is September 20-25; and the Nordic countries will be visited October 18-24.

For franchise execs who plan to go on all three, it’s a heavy dose of passport art and jetlag. But as always, the International Franchise Association, Franchise Times and the U.S. Commercial Service Franchise Trade Mission promises the benefits of a Gold Key partner search, with the added bonus of traveling with experienced international development peers and learning from the experts in the local embassies and trade organizations.

The deadline is past for China, but applications are still being taken for Central America; and the Nordic trade mission is in the process of finalizing its budget. The stops on that particular journey will be Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; and Helsinki, Finland.

But before you pack your Nordic sweaters, here’s some of what you need to know about the Central America trade mission. The schedule and information on the markets are included on the application page on the IFA website: http://www.franchise.org/CentralAmerica2015

Stops in Central America include San Jose, Costa Rica; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and San Salvador, El Salvador. The cost is $5,500 for each company and one representative, plus $750 for additional company executives who attend. Companies pay for their own airfare and hotel, but the local staffs have contracts with hotels for lower prices. Transportation in each city is paid for by the trade mission.

Only concepts that have been vetted by the local trade specialists will be invited to attend. The reasoning is that it’s an expensive exercise in frustration if your dance card isn’t filled before you leave home.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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