Expand to Global markets

The Madison Region has access to the right resources, expertise, and infrastructure to pursue global growth opportunities.

As a global leader in several key industry sectors, the Madison Region provides a robust network of tools, talent, and technical assistance, making our eight counties a clear choice for businesses looking to take advantage of international growth opportunities.

Companies headquartered in the Madison Region that do business worldwide include ABS Global, Animart, Epic Systems, Hufcor and Kuhn, Promega, and Synergy Metalworks. International companies that have found U.S. expansion success in the region include Emmi Roth (Switzerland), Fiskars (Finland), Kerry Ingredients (Ireland), and Saint-Gobain (France).

The University of Wisconsin – Madison makes a strong partner for Foreign Direct Investment opportunities, thanks to its world-class research & development capacity. With more than $1 billion per year in academic R&D, UW-Madison consistently ranks among the nation’s top ten educational institutions in both research expenditures and patent generation. UW-Madison’s faculty, students, and labs regularly partner with industry leaders to research, prototype, and test new ideas. Ultimately these partnerships play a crucial role in technology transfer, commercialization, talent development, and business development opportunities for those in the community.

Global businesses in the Madison Region are served by infrastructure that supports and expedites exports. In 2005, Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) created Foreign Trade Zone No. 266 to encourage, facilitate, and accelerate international trade. FTZs provide an exemption, delayed or lowered tariffs, and duty payments to manufacturers and processors, reducing competition with foreign companies. Milwaukee, located 35 miles from the Madison Region’s eastern border, serves as the primary shipping port for the region, the state, and its home to Foreign Trade Zone No. 41.

MadREP and its partners are well equipped to leverage the Madison Region’s assets around the world. MadREP formed an International Steering Committee, composed of a dozen experts from state agencies, legal and financial institutions, and private industries, to implement a plan for increasing the region’s exports and foreign direct investment.

Regional partners like the Madison International Trade Association provide global know-how and resources to companies, delivering vital global and international trade information to businesses looking to expand their international reach. Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) collaborates with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center to provide ExporTech™: an export acceleration program using a proven method to develop or expand an export program.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation excels at helping companies grow beyond Wisconsin’s borders. The state has a global network of foreign trade representatives who represent 79 countries and can provide in-country expertise and resources in some of the world’s fastest growing markets. Learn more about the many exporting programs available through WEDC, including trade ventures and export grants.

Wisconsin is at the center of America—and at the center of what makes America a great place to do business. Our unique location, hard-working people, and favorable policies work together to make Wisconsin the perfect U.S. hub for your company. Learn more about Foreign Direct Investment in Wisconsin.

(By dollar value, 2020)
Canada: $6.2B
Mexico: $2.6B
China: $1.6B
Germany: $760M
Japan: $686M

With most of the world’s consumers living outside the U.S., trade exports play an increasingly important role in economic growth. In 2019, Madison and Janesville-Beloit MSA exports totaled $2.34B and $807M, respectively.