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Not Just Flyover Country: Opportunities for Market Entry in the U.S. Midwest

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When entering the United States, most companies are attracted to the East and West coasts. Cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, or San Francisco are internationally known and offer significant customer bases, port and transportation infrastructure, and a diversity of economic sectors. However, the competition for market entry is extremely high, and costs of entry can be prohibitive. 

The so-called “fly-over” states of the Midwest are often overlooked as entry points. However, this part of the country is centrally located to the entire country with robust transportation infrastructure.  Market entry is likely to be a less competitive and lower-cost option, offering unique opportunities for international companies. In fact, the Midwest is a leader in advanced manufacturing, agricultural-related, and clean technology opportunities. 

Wichita, Kansas is a world-class aerospace hub known as the “Air Capital of the World.” With a low cost of living, technical education programs and universities, a skilled advanced manufacturing workforce, and plentiful land, Wichita is an example of a Midwestern city well-positioned for market entry by international companies in advanced manufacturing. 

Renewable energy production is also a growing economic sector in the Midwest. With abundant wind, sun, skilled labor, as well as lower wages, the region is primed to be a renewable powerhouse in the future. Iowa and Kansas already rival each other for the top spot in wind power production each year. Siemens manufactures wind turbines in Hutchinson, Kansas. 

Similarly, opportunities for companies with sustainable agriculture solutions should look to Midwestern states as a base of operations. The Animal Health Corridor that runs from Manhattan, Kansas, to Columbia, Missouri, including the Kansas City area, offers opportunities for international companies involved in animal food products, health, and pharmaceuticals. The Corridor represents 56% of the total worldwide animal health diagnostics and pet food sales and looks to expand its market share over the coming years. The Corridor is strongly supported by universities, government economic development dollars, and corporate investment. 

These are a few examples of the opportunities available for foreign companies willing to look at the so-called “Fly-over states.” International companies in other sectors would do well to explore business opportunities in these states as a more affordable and less competitive entry point than coastal options. The good news is Kansas Global Trade Services is perfectly positioned to help identify potential market opportunities for international companies looking toward our state. What will be your next move?

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