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DEED Now Accepting Nominations for the Governor's International Trade Awards

Awards Highlight Successes in Foreign Markets by Minnesota Companies and Foreign Investment in Minnesota; Nomination Deadline is July 19.

St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is now accepting nominations for the 39th Annual Governor’s International Trade Awards until Friday, July 19, 2024.

These prestigious awards honor Minnesota companies that have shown exceptional growth and success in foreign markets. In addition to honoring the individual recipients, the awards serve as a tribute to the importance and tremendous positive impact that exports and trade have on the state’s overall economy. Past winners can be found here.

“International trade contributes billions of dollars to Minnesota’s economy and directly supports nearly 118,000 jobs. It’s important to celebrate this impact and the companies that are driving it,” said Governor Tim Walz. “We’re committed to growing Minnesota’s trade ties and sharing our story of innovation with countries around the world.”

"Exports from many important Minnesota industries grew in 2023, and we continue to see high-impact foreign direct investment in our state,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. "We are excited to celebrate this success and double down on our work to expand Minnesota trade across the globe.”

“Thanks to our exporting power as a state, Minnesota farmers and our agriculture and food companies feed the world,” said Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “We look forward to recognizing businesses that help bring Minnesota’s ag products to a global audience and boost our economy here at home.”

“We are excited to once again open the nominations for the Governor’s International Trade Awards and encourage companies across the state to apply,” said MTO Executive Director Gabrielle Gerbaud. “It is always a privilege to recognize the hard work and outstanding accomplishments of Minnesota exporters. We look forward to honoring the recipients later this this year.”

Nominations for the Governor’s International Trade Awards will be accepted until Friday, July 19, 2024. Recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony to be scheduled toward the end of this year.

Additional information, as well as nomination instructions, can be found on the Governor’s International Trade Awards website here.

About the Minnesota Trade Office

The Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) supports small- and medium-sized Minnesota businesses through technical assistance, export education and training programs, trade promotion activities, services by offices in strategic overseas locations, and export expansion grants. State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grants – 50% matching, up to $7,500 – support a range of export development activities, including participation in trade shows and missions.

In addition, the MTO attracts Foreign Direct Investment by helping foreign companies explore the advantages of expanding or relocating in Minnesota.

The MTO also serves as Minnesota's Office of Protocol, ensuring that the state's interactions with foreign delegations and dignitaries are conducted with appropriate diplomatic etiquette and cultural practices.

For staff contact information, please visit our “Contact the Minnesota Trade Office” page here.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. Find out how DEED delivers for Minnesota by visiting the DEED website,, or follow us on X.


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