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About Us

The State International Development Organizations, Inc. (SIDO) is the premiere U.S. organization dedicated to supporting state international trade agencies.

SIDO is the only national organization focused exclusively on state international trade development. SIDO helps state international trade agencies better serve American exporters by sharing innovative ideas and resources, developing the skills of state trade professionals, advocating the interests of states in trade promotion, and facilitating multi-state collaboration.

State international trade agencies are widely recognized as leaders in innovative, performance-based trade development assistance and export promotion. Physically located in their respective states, international trade staff communicate regularly with constituents, business leaders and international contacts. State international staff work directly with small to medium-sized exporters, providing trusted guidance as they strengthen our economy through exporting. The resources available for international trade promotion and the strategies used to promote these programs vary significantly from state to state. SIDO provides a forum for practitioners to learn from each other and directly impact our local and national economies.

Through a close partnership with The Council of State Governments (CSG), SIDO members contribute specialized expertise, information and resources to support the overall goal of promoting state international trade programs. SIDO offers a mechanism by which members can access helpful directories, seek out best practices from other state agencies, expand their international contacts and resources, and utilize a wide array of additional products and services. SIDO also provides a vital forum for bringing issues to a broader, collective audience.

Mission Statement

SIDO provides state trade promotion professionals with a forum for collaboration and sharing best practices as well as advocates for states’ international trade development issues so that U.S. companies remain globally competitive.

Organization

SIDO is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, affiliated with The Council of State Governments (CSG), and is comprised of international economic development practitioners and professionals from state and related organizations across the country. SIDO employs a part-time staff liaison, based in CSG’s Washington, D.C. office, to coordinate program activities. However, SIDO relies primarily on the active involvement of state trade directors from across the country, including SIDO’s board of directors, to ensure that all activities are focused on the immediate needs of the states and to limit overhead expenses.

Guiding Principles

  • Exporting increases the competitiveness of existing industries, increases companies’ profits, and increases employees’ wages. Through exporting, good companies become better companies.
  • States generally collaborate on trade promotion programs and increased collaboration benefits the trade promotion profession.
  • A strong trade economy benefits national security.
  • Exporters generally seek assistance first at the local level so states are in an ideal position to assist their local exporters.
  • State trade promotion programs are ideally situated to identify gaps between services offered by the federal government and those needed within their state and develop solutions to fill these gaps.
  • There are many U.S. companies with the ability to export but do not export due to lack of time, talent, or money. Federal or state agencies alone cannot service the needs of all potential U.S. exporters. Therefore, greater state-federal collaboration is essential to assure that that trade assistance is client-focused and client-driven, with less bureaucracy and without duplication of efforts.