TradeBuilders' First Virtual Trade Mission Between U.S., India to Focus on Software Industry
April 16, 2001

WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Tradebuilders, a Washington, DC-based company, will conduct a virtual trade mission linking firms in the United States and India that begins today and will continue through Friday, May 18. The virtual trade mission will help U.S. firms build valuable relationships with leading software companies in India, most of which are located in Bangalore, often called India's Silicon Valley.

The Web-based virtual trade mission will enable participating companies to build relationships through online meetings and a videoconference on May 18. More than 20 firms in India and 20 firms in the United States have registered for the virtual trade mission. U.S. companies may continue to register for the virtual trade mission through April 20.

Tradebuilders' proprietary process includes expert business facilitation and online coaching. U.S. companies can use the virtual trade mission to build business relationships with Indian software developers, and identify partners for selling, outsourcing, joint venturing, and/or investment. According to Virginia Littlejohn, Chairman of Tradebuilders: "Global markets are expanding as trade barriers come down, trade agreements multiply and e-commerce explodes. But barriers still exist-a lack of trade knowledge and experience, the high cost of traditional trade missions, and archaic supply chains and infrastructure."

According to Littlejohn, Tradebuilders helps companies go global through an Internet portal that cuts costs and reduces risks; simplifies trade and increases opportunities; offers technical assistance; develops trade capability; improves the supply chain process; and creates access to finance and investment.

Elizabeth Vazquez, President of Tradebuilders, points out that "Traditional trade missions focus primarily on large companies offering products. They are time-consuming and expensive-costing anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000-and require a high level of trade expertise. But virtual trade missions are open to companies of any sizes offering products or services, require much less time and expense-typically $100 to $1,000, and assist companies with developing their trade expertise."

Tradebuilders is working on this pilot virtual trade mission between India and the U.S. in coordination with the Electronics and Computer Software Promotion Council (ESC), part of the Indian Government's Ministry of Information Technology; India's largest B2B exchange,; the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka; Cvent; and Caucus Systems, Inc.

In 1998, the founders of Tradebuilders conducted the world's first virtual trade mission involving 56 companies in Canada, Malaysia and Singapore; the mission resulted in 16 business agreements. Last year, Tradebuilders conducted a virtual trade mission between Canada and the United States that involved 44 companies and resulted in 22 business agreements.

Tradebuilders' virtual trade missions were cited as a global best practice at the COMDEX 2000 show in Las Vegas and at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's 2000 Conference on Globalization and the Knowledge-based Economy in Paris.

U.S. companies interested in participating in the virtual trade mission can apply online at or contact Elizabeth Vazquez at (202) 237-5703,

SOURCE: Tradebuilders, 04/16/2001
CONTACT: Elizabeth Vazquez of Tradebuilders, 202-237-5703, or, Website:

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