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Delegation Promotes Appalachian Exports through Multi-Sector Trade Mission in Asia

June 2013


Executives representing 25 firms and organizations from across Appalachia participated in an Appalachia USA delegation to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Trade Winds Asia Forum May 9–17, 2013. Anchored in Seoul, Korea, the ARC-supported forum gave businesses an opportunity to identify new and expanded market opportunities in east and northeast Asia, learn about commercial issues specific to Asia, and access the resources of the U.S. Commercial Service across the continent.

Coordinated by the U.S. Commercial Service, the nine-day Trade Winds business development conference and multi-sector trade mission drew nearly 250 attendees from around the world. The program featured a pan-Asian business forum and consultations with senior Commercial Service officers representing markets throughout east and northeast Asia. It also provided participants with the opportunity to conduct business-to-business meetings with potential clients and business partners in Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, and Tokyo.

In addition to participating in export-expansion activities at the forum, delegation trade officials from Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania were featured in a special "SelectUSA" program highlighting new and expanding international investment in their states. The federal SelectUSA program seeks to highlight the United States' advantages as a business and investment location.

This is the seventh consecutive year that ARC's Export Trade Advisory Council (ETAC), through its Appalachia USA initiative, has participated in the Trade Winds program. Previous Appalachia USA delegations traveled to Istanbul, Turkey (2008); Warsaw, Poland (2009); Sao Paulo, Brazil, (2010); Mexico City (2011); and Singapore (2012).

The Trade Winds forum is a key component of the National Export Initiative to promote American products abroad. Under the initiative, American exports have grown to a record $2.2 trillion (2012), supporting 9.8 million American jobs.