The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) launched an Export Development initiative to help its members better connect with emerging international growth opportunities and realize untapped potential in the international market. Nearly 69 percent of consumers live outside the U.S. (International Trade Resource Center), creating significant potential for the U.S. recreational boating industry, which is already a net exporting industry.
The program will be led by Julie Balzano, who joins NMMA as export development director. Together with the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC), Balzano will focus on developing and implementing a program that works with NMMA members to target both established and long term emerging international markets through counseling, training, group pavilions at key international boat shows and relationship building. In addition, NMMA will work with the USDOC to identify key U.S. boat and sport shows to which they would bring potential dealers and distributors.
“More and more marine businesses are embracing exporting as a way to increase sales and navigate seasonal downturns,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president, in a statement. “The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, on average, companies that export grow faster, pay higher wages and are more profitable than those that do not, so it’s critical that the U.S. marine industry capture its share of the global market.”
NMMA has managed international pavilions at shows around the world on behalf of members, including the successful U.S. pavilion at METS, and has worked to help grow exports of U.S. made recreational boating products. In fact, the NMMA Abstract shows that since 2007, there has been a positive balance in U.S. trade of recreational boats and marine engines. In terms of export value, boats and engines totaled $2.2 billion in 2011, up 0.6 percent from 2010.