A trade mission is a visit organised by an individual or organisation of a group of business people (usually exporters or importers, but which may include investors and business persons with other intentions) to another country with the purpose of encourage trade to take place between the visitors and the business community in the target country. Trade missions are a popular way of facilitating international trade.

Trade missions are commonly organised by governments, chambers of commerce, industry associations, development organisations or any similar organisation. It is also quite common for a trade mission to accompany senior government officials such as Ministers (and even the President) who are visiting a particular country to foster better relations with that country. Trade missions are generally divided into two types, namely inward trade missions and outward trade missions. Trade missions may also be general in nature (in the sense that they cover several industries, as well as consumer and industrial goods), or industry-specific.

Participating in a trade mission is a good idea as these missions can be quite an effective marketing tool if you manage them properly. Although trade missions normally are organised by a third-party – a government department, chamber of commerce or industry association – it is crucial that you also manage your own participation time and activities within the confines of the visit as a whole, if you wish to maximise the value of the visit