Press Release

Department of Commerce to Lead First Minority Business Focused Trade Mission to Italy, Spain and Portugal

May 11, 2022
Contact: Office of Public Affairs 
WASHINGTON – Between May 15-21, the Department of Commerce will be leading its first-ever trade mission where all participating businesses and associations are small and medium-sized minority-owned businesses. Led by the Department’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets Arun Venkataraman, the Minority Business Focused Trade Mission will bring 12 U.S. companies and associations to Italy, Spain and Portugal for a series of tailored business-to-business matchmaking services, market intelligence briefings, and networking opportunities designed specifically to support the export assistance needs of minority-owned businesses.

Department of Commerce trade missions are official international trips where both government officials and industry representatives travel as a delegation to promote U.S. exports to target countries and grow business partnerships. They are organized by the Department of Commerce, often by the International Trade Administration’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, to save companies valuable time and resources by maximizing face-to-face contact with prospective distributors, sales representatives or partners.

The Minority Business Focused Trade Mission advances the Department’s objective to provide inclusive programming and equitable access to international trade opportunities for businesses from underserved communities, including minority businesses, in important international markets. Representing nearly a quarter (23%) of European GDP, Italy, Spain and Portugal’s combined GDP is over $3.1 trillion, and the nations have a total population of 117 million. In 2020, even at the height of the pandemic, U.S. exports to these key markets reached over $34.4 billion.

In addition to leading the mission, Assistant Secretary Venkataraman will advance key Department of Commerce and Biden-Harris Administration policy priorities in meetings with American Chambers of Commerce representatives, business associations and government leaders.

“This is an historic trade mission for the Department of Commerce that will help expand opportunities for U.S. minority-owned, small and medium-sized businesses in new international markets,” said Assistant Secretary Venkataraman. “The U.S. businesses we’re bringing have fresh, new ideas and solutions to help Southwest Europe in the tech, energy, environmental and security sectors. These key markets not only offer interested buyers for businesses from underserved communities, but can lead to win-win outcomes for people and businesses in the U.S. and Europe as we work to increase our commercial engagement and cooperation,” he added.

Visit the Minority Business Focused Trade Mission web page for more information about the mission, including the participating U.S. companies and associations, targeted sectors, and schedule.


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