Gold Key: The of Exporting

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By: Iris Kapo,  International Trade Specialist  U.S. Commercial Service Philadelphia

Are you interested in exporting to a new market? Need help finding the best overseas business partner?

The U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key business matchmaking service does exactly that. The Gold Key Service is a cost-recovery fee based, customized matchmaking service, which enables U.S. companies to find an ideal overseas distributor or business representative. The Gold Key is provided through your local U.S Export Assistance Center which works with the U.S. Embassy in the country of interest.

For larger countries, that require multiple distributors/business partners, the Gold Key Service is offered specifically for the geographic area you would like to target. The service pre-screens and organizes a day or two of meetings with 3-5 potential partners which you then fly out to meet. A Gold Key can take 6-8 weeks to complete so planning ahead is necessary.

Where is the value?

As you can imagine, U.S. companies find this service very valuable because they receive pre-scheduled meetings with pre-qualified distributors vetted by an in-country Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, prior to traveling to the market. Obviously no business partner is absolutely perfect but every effort is made to identify a compatible relationship.

Most companies that come to us for assistance are trying to identify a business partner that will help them gain a foothold in the market, establish their U.S. brand, and pave the way for long term and repeat export sales.

Business is all about creating the right relationships. In international business, this is even more important; those working for you halfway around the world need to be credible and able to meet the high standards you have as a U.S. company.

How does it work?


















Gold Key meetings offer a high probability of success because time is taken to identify your ideal business partner and then due diligence is conducted, by our overseas colleagues, to make sure these potentials are reputable and willing to do business with you.

For more information on the Gold Key, pricing, and other business matchmaking services available to you please contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. Iris Kapo is one of the many trade professionals located in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets.

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3 Responses to Gold Key: The of Exporting

  1. Patricia Cook says:

    Great article. So true matchmaking really is the key to significant overseas growth for companies. I am US Commercial Service Iowa Director bringing the Gold Key Service to Iowa companies.

  2. Mark OGrady says:

    Iris: An excellent article all around. You are changing the Commercial Service’s (CS) long held nickname of ‘the best kept secret in international trade.’ Thanks to your efforts, we in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia know the value of this blog post as it is allowing us to deliver successful new Gold Key Services year after year!

    Mark OGrady
    Deputy Senior Commercial Officer
    U.S. Embassy – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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