Global Appalachia Workshop
Appalachian Regional Commission
1666 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 7th Floor
Members of the ARC Export Trade Advisory Council and Network Appalachia transportation planning and development group met in Washington, D.C., November 14–15, 2012, for a Global Appalachia workshop on opportunities and obstacles for Appalachian businesses in domestic and international commerce. The workshop had a special focus on expanding Appalachian exports.
Attendees discussed issues related to strengthening Appalachia's access to domestic and global markets, with an emphasis on intermodal corridor development and improved coordination of the Region's highway, railway, and waterway systems. Topics also included the expansion of the Panama Canal, to be completed in 2015, and the impact it will have reshaping international trade lanes.
Participants also heard about upcoming trade missions that Appalachia USA export delegations will attend in Shanghai, China (an event focusing on home furnishings/wood products); Seoul, South Korea (a U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Winds business development conference with a multisector focus); and Sydney, Australia (an event focusing on mining equipment, technology, and services).
The November 15 meeting events included a signing ceremony with ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl and Charles A. Ford, deputy director general of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service, to create a new Export Promotion Partnership aimed at boosting exports from Appalachian businesses. The partnership will enhance ongoing cooperation and coordination between the two agencies to increase export awareness among small and medium-sized firms.