The California Trade Network is part of an initiative designed to help companies and professionals in California find partners, collaborate and secure opportunities in international markets. This initiative includes an online business network as well as a new kind of business association. It is the only service of its kind for California and includes sophisticated business profiling, collaboration technology, and and an international opportunity matching service.
Background and History. The California Trade Network was originally proposed as a Virtual Trade Agency for the California, Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency and was also intended to serve as a distribution network for trade opportunities from California’s Foreign Trade Offices. These offices were abolished by the State Legislature in 2003 after a performance scandal and questions about their effectiveness. The entire State trade agency was abolished a few months later during one of California's perennial budget emergencies, but this project continued without government funding or involvement as a private sector initiative. While the politicians in Sacramento continue to debate the appropriate role of government in this area, the California Trade Network is growing and has attracted some of the most accomplished and influential professionals in the California international business community.
Mission and Objectives. The California Trade Network has been designed to facilitate international business development in California. We are striving to develop systems that will harness the power, expertise and influence of small companies and professionals in this State in securing international business. This project has the following specific objectives:
Programs and Initiatives. To accomplish these objectives we have established a number of business programs and initiatives to serve the California international business community and potential international partners. These include:
California International Business Community. The business network is open to all California business professionals and California expatriates. It provides a free international business profile and allows for free communication among and between members by private messaging, instant messaging, guestbook entries, bulletin boards and even Internet telephony through Skype™. We are working towards making this a platform for communication and collaboration for this emerging community. If you are a California professional with interests in international business we would like invite and encourage you to register for this network
California International Business Directory. In our newest initiative we are working to identify California companies involved in export and international business. While this is just getting going it has already generated interest and Internet traffic from people looking for information on California products and services. This is human edited directory so if you represent a a California company involved in international business or export make sure you have your site listed in the appropriate category. To add your site, go to the register link to the far right on the directory homepage. It's quick and will allow you to manage your own listing. Please let us know if you would like a premium listing in this directory.
California Trade Opportunity Program. This provides a technology that provides for sophisticated trade opportunity matching. The trade opportunities are matched to your business based on the information in your business profile including the industries and trade countries where you have interests or expertise. We are currently re-engineering parts of this program in order to improve the quality and quantity of the trade opportunities that are provided to our members. We have also just recently started weekly teleconferences to discuss these opportunities and other business issues.
California International Business Forums is an online bulletin board system we have started to provide community building and enhanced collaboration among our members. The service is currently in beta but is fully operational and can be accessed through the NETWORK. To access the private forums, got through the network portion of the portal so your registration data can be copied over. We are planning significant improvements to this service over the next few weeks. .
California International Business Report. This was originally an emailed report delivered to over 5000 California professionals and business leaders every two months. We eventually succumbed to the allure of blogging technology which offers several benefits for news publishing and distribution benefits, but have tried to keep the same independent spirit of the original newsletter as we provide news and cover stories related to international business in California.
California International Marketplace. This is a new service we are starting to provide advertising space for select California products and services; and a fun and interesting experience for visitors to the site. In addition, we have an industrial strength ad-server that can provide advertisements to hundreds of pages throughout the site. We are just getting started on this, so please contact us if you have a product you would like to promote on the network.
Professional Accounts. Most of the services in this network are provided without charge for California professionals, but we reserve a few premium services for our supporting members These members have professional accounts that give them access to our premium trade content. These are opportunities that we feel are particularly viable and worthy of consideration. They are also invited to participate in our teleconferences to discuss these opportunities and other business issues. While we have designed this service to give a wide range of free services for California companies and professionals, we ask that you consider supporting us by visiting our Accounts page.
Foreign and Out-of-State Visitors. We regret that we are not able to offer free accounts to our foreign and out-of-State friends at this time. The service is designed, however, so that should be able to communicate with most of our members directly. We also welcome cooperation proposals or ideas for joint ventures. Please visit our accounts page for pricing information on foreign business accounts and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.