The two-day event kicked off with remarks by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the chief United States official on international trade. In his first public appearance since publication of the full Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text, Ambassador Froman highlighted how Made-in-America exports are helping the state’s economy and how the TPP will help to grow those benefits. The TPP is a groundbreaking trade agreement that will gain American workers, farmers, and businesses of all sizes unprecedented access to the Asia-Pacific region.
The event afforded participants the opportunity to develop their international network with in-country experts, as well as attend sessions where panelists offered practical advice on how to expand sales in the global marketplace.
Participants chose between two tracks for the main portion of the day. Track A heard business perspectives on Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and China from companies doing business in those markets, as well as sessions on top growth markets and digital localization. Representatives from VEDP’s Global Network were also included. Track B offered sessions on foreign currency, overseas representation and defense opportunities.
The conference concluded with an evening banquet and three awards. The Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Award for Excellence in International Trade was presented by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones to Euclid Systems Corporation of Herndon. The Virginia International Business Council Global Excellence Award recognized George Hiller, adjunct professor at the University of Richmond. The Virginia TradePort Innovator of the Year Award was given to Joe Meredith, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.