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Appalachian Trade Delegation Visits Southeast Asia to Expand Appalachian Exports

May 2012

Executives from 22 Appalachian businesses and representatives from seven Appalachian state trade offices joined a 36-member Appalachia USA delegation traveling to the U.S. Department of Commerce's first Trade Winds Asia Forum in southeast Asia May 14−22, 2012. The ARC-supported forum gave businesses an opportunity to identify market opportunities in southeast Asia, learn about commercial issues, and access the resources of the U.S. Commercial Service.

Coordinated by the U.S. Commercial Service, the nine-day business conference and multi-sector trade mission drew 150 business and government leaders from across America seeking opportunities to expand exports to the quickly growing Asian marketplace and to attract Asian foreign direct investment to the United States. (Exports of U.S. goods to the Asia-Pacific region in 2011 totaled nearly $900 billion, a 15 percent increase from 2010, and equaled more than 60 percent of total U.S. goods exports to the world.) While in southeast Asia, business leaders conducted more than 1,000 one-on-one meetings with senior commercial officers from throughout Asia and with potential clients and business partners in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

State trade representatives from Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland helped lead the Appalachia USA delegation.

This is the sixth consecutive year that ARC's Export Trade Advisory Council, through its Appalachia USA initiative, has participated in the Trade Winds Business Forum program. Previous Appalachia USA delegations traveled to Istanbul, Turkey (2008); Warsaw, Poland (2009); Sao Paulo, Brazil, (2010); and Mexico City (2011).