Southeast Asia trip successful on many levels, Bowes says
SHEFFIELD, Iowa -- Sukup Manufacturing Co. Director of International Sales John Bowes was among about 20 Iowans who took part in a state-sponsored trade mission to Vietnam and the Philippines from Feb. 22 to March 2.
Bowes met with 12 prospective customers in two days in Vietnam, and came back with requests from three of them to become dealers of Sukup equipment.
“It was a very successful mission,” Bowes said, adding that he was impressed by the way Iowa officials set up so many meetings with prospective customers and kept the trade mission on task. “There were nonstop meetings during the day and we’d fly at night.”
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds led the trip, which was focused on increasing exports of Iowa pork to Southeast Asia and fostering export opportunities for Iowa manufacturers and businesses. The Iowa Economic Development Authority's (IEDA) International Trade Office assisted in coordinating the trip.
"Both countries have shown tremendous economic growth and continue to be open to new business opportunities," Reynolds said.
"Vietnam and the Philippines are burgeoning markets for Iowa businesses, especially when it comes to pork products and manufacturing," said Gov. Terry Branstad. "Trade missions like this one open Iowa companies up to new growth opportunities in expanding markets outside of the United States."
The trip included visits to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Manila. The group met with senior government officials and prospective industry association leaders, and attended events promoting Iowa to potential economic partners.
Bowes said the efficiency of the trip made him feel good as a taxpayer. “Even our walk down Hanoi streets was to see and learn about local meat markets.”
Bowes added that the interaction with folks from Iowa’s pork industry was valuable, as were the meetings with government officials and individual companies. “It was just good networking all around,” he said.
The delegation included Shane Peed of Agricultural Holdings International of Fort Dodge; Ky Boyle, executive director of CMB Regional Centers; Jeff Hamilton, president and CEO of ESP International, Cedar Rapids; Steve Dickinson of Fredrikson & Byron Law Firm, West Des Moines; Craig Hill, president of Iowa Farm Bureau Federation; Richard Degner, executive director of Iowa Pork Producers Association; Kim Pleggenkuhle, president of Midwest Soya International Inc., Mason City; Becca Hendricks, assistant vice president of international marketing for National Pork Board, Des Moines; Tim Pontier, president of World Wide Export & Equipment Sales Inc., Bevington; Mark Fischer, agriculture marketing manager for IEDA’s International Trade Office; and Joseph Rude, Asia Pacific trade and development manager for IEDA’s International Trade Office. Also attending was Bowes’ wife, Rosalinda, who is from the Philippines.
Sukup Manufacturing Co. is a family-owned business that has been providing top-quality grain handling and storage products to agricultural producers since 1963.
Sukup is the fastest-growing bin manufacturer in the world. Its product line includes farm and commercial grain bins, portable and tower dryers, centrifugal and axial fans and heaters, stirring machines, bin unloading equipment and bin floors and supports.
Sukup also makes a line of material handling equipment that includes bucket elevators, drag conveyors and chain loop conveyors, and now manufactures pre-engineered steel buildings.
Sukup products are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in more than 50 other countries.