A. Identify North Dakota Mission Goal/s

The more industries represented, goals identified, and participants included, the more complicated and costly the process becomes.

  1. FDI
    • Specific industries
      • Businesses
      • Investment Groups
      • Industry Groups
    • Industry Subject Matter Experts (i.e.: Energy Industry- Pipeline Authority, EERC)
  2. Workforce
    • Industry needs
    • Specialized training
    • Student recruitment
  3. Trade
  4. Education/University Relationships
  5. Ambassadorship/”sister” relations
  6. Tourism

Recommend at least 12-18 months for Governor led missions (at least 6-9 months for Commerce led) in advance for relationship build. See timeline overview below. This timeline can be shortened with European countries or countries with significant existing ND relationships.

B. Industry Prioritization

  • Talk to ND companies/industry groups about their market interests
  • Connect with NDTO
  • Connect with US Commerce Trade Office in ND: Fargo Contact Us ( SelectUSA Resources and Information (

C. Market Research

  • SelectUSA Home ( US Commerce arm for FDI, connection can be made by Fargo US Trade Office
  • Export Solutions - Good, free info, more export focused
  • International Trade Administration: CCG Landing Page ( Information by Country

D. Political Stability/Friendly Nation

The US State Department maintains a list of countries that sponsor terrorism. I would suggest that we use this list to determine if it is safe and worthy of resource commitments.

E. Foreign Country Gross Domestic Product

F. 5-Year FDI Trend

G. Industry Match to ND


Success Metrics


  • # of Foreign Companies Investing in ND
  • # of Foreign Companies Locating in ND
  • # of Foreign Companies Buying existing ND Companies


  • # of Meetings
  • # of Participants in meetings
  • # of Participants in meetings from C-Suite
  • Market Cap of Businesses in meetings



Most consulates serve a specific geographical area of the US. Make sure to identify the appropriate consulate for North Dakota (often located in Chicago or MSP.) Some, like Spain, are divided into industry focus areas.

  1. Send introductory email messages to consul general's offices. NDTO can be a good partner for those relationships.
  2. Visit the consulate in person.
    • Research existing ND connections (business, cultural, university) to country.
    • Research country business culture prior to visit. NDTO has some resources.
    • Bring a small ND based gift for each person in the meeting.
    • Identify industry overlaps.
    • Determine potential trade or business organizations that may help in making introductions.