Utah companies taking advantage of the state's trade fair assistance program are making sales in foreign countries and making valuable business contacts, according to Osamu Hoshino, director of the Utah International Development Office.

With $25,000 from the Utah Legislature, the program is designed to help small and medium-sized companies enter the international trade market by presenting their products in trade fairs where thousands of firms from many countries display their wares.When a company wants to attend a trade fair in a foreign country, the state will pay 50 percent of the expenses up to a maximum of $2,500. Gregg Gullett of the international office said his job is to help Utah companies select the trade shows where their products and services will be shown to the right people.

The program already is reaping benefits for some companies.

Officials of Bartel Software of Midvale participated in the U.S. Department of Commerce Matchmaker Events in Barcelona, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal, and had $3,000 in sales, got 200 sales leads and signed agreements with people from both countries.

Cirris Systems Corp. of Salt Lake City received help from the program to participate in Electronica 1988 in Munich, West Germany. As a result of the trade fair, the company made 120 sales leads and had $7,000 in sales.