A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Looking back on 2015, I recall the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia's tagline: We counsel. We connect. We grow trade. In this message, I want to focus on these three central and related tenets of our organization's mission to accelerate global business growth for companies in this region.
We counsel. Last year, our trade specialists, who have experience in more than 75 markets, advised more than 300 companies. In 2015, companies we have counseled, past and present, reported generating more than $174 million new export sales. Moreover, 1200+ professionals attended our educational seminars and conferences, learning about wide-ranging topics, from export finance to doing business in China and elsewhere. Beyond statistics, our clients' success stories are the best measure of our own success and satisfaction. We help a range of companies, from a small manufacturer in Northeast Philly that landed one of the largest sales in its history via an Austrian buyer, and Philadelphia's own Bassett's Ice Cream, which now is successfully producing ice cream for the China market, to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, which we advised and which is now providing critical healthcare to young children halfway around the world.
We connect. Another service WTCGP offers: opening doors for Greater Philadelphia business leaders and CEOs of companies of all sizes to connect with a wide array of individuals who can help their businesses grow, such as professional service providers (banks and accounting and law firms), prospective customers and partners and government trade officials. In 2015, our clients and corporate partners met with high level trade officials such as Commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol Gil Kerliowske. Our contacts extend well beyond this region and into more than 100 countries worldwide, through the World Trade Centers Association, comprising 320 WTCs such as our own. Membership in the WTCGP not only opens doors - it helps businesses step through those doorways into broader global markets.
Check out World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia's WTC Review 2016 Issue No. 1, full of WTCGP updates, member highlights, business and trade announcements, events, and special reports.
View WTC Review | Philadelphia 2016 Issue No. 1 Online
We grow trade. I have already mentioned several company success stories as well as the impressive statistics on increased export sales revenue garnered by companies we counseled in 2015 and previously. These successes are founded on accurate advice and practical knowledge about doing business globally and understanding market trends. One other key element? A positive outlook. While others see the shifting world market - influenced by the gradual slowdown and rebalancing of the Chinese economy and decline in prices for oil and other commodities - WTCGP sees opportunity. In fact, the International Monetary Fund, global growth in emerging market and developing economies will still outpace advanced economies, accounting for more than 70 percent of global growth. In other words: opportunity is knocking!
Another key element to trade growth: Knowledge. To this end, on March 3, WTCGP and Drexel University's LeBow College of Business are co-hosting the Annual Global Business Conference. WTCGP can help you navigate this changing world economy, including which markets to consider. This morning, half-day program will feature former U.S. Ambassador to China and Singapore and leading trade official Jon Huntsman as the conference keynote speaker. Using a "fireside chat" format, Governor Huntsman will be interviewed by Gillian Tett, U.S Managing Editor of the Financial Times. With these and other well-informed speakers and networking time, the Global Business Conference also represents opportunity. Please join us on March 3 at Drexel University's Creese Student Center. For more details about this event and our signature World Trade Centers Day Celebration in May, including registration, see immediately below (for GBC) and in our events segment (for the WTC Day Celebration).
In closing, I offer warm thanks to our partners whose funding enables WTCGP to continue offering transformative trade counseling services and educational programs. Hats off to you, as well as our member companies and superb trade team, for promoting a thriving global marketplace in our collective backyard.
Let us help you generate your next export success!
Linda Mysliwy Conlin
World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia