Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service signed a Export Promotion Partnership that will increase exports in Appalachian-based businesses. The partnership will work to increase awareness about exporting among small and mid-sized businesses. Thirteen states are covered by this initiative.
Here is the press release from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Washington, D.C., November 15, 2012 — Charles A. Ford, Deputy Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (U.S. Commercial Service), and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl, today signed a new Export Promotion Partnership aimed at boosting exports from Appalachian-based businesses.
The new initiative, which covers the 13-state Appalachian region, will enhance ongoing cooperation and coordination between the two agencies to increase awareness among small and medium-sized firms about exporting. This includes leveraging the tools and resources both organizations can provide to help businesses in their exporting efforts.
“Working with the Appalachian Regional Commission will strengthen our ability to reach out and support small and medium-size businesses across Appalachia as they seek to launch new export initiatives and build on their past export achievements,” said Ford. “We look forward to leveraging our U.S. Commercial Service network of offices to help boost exports that are key to moving our economy forward and supporting new jobs.”
“ARC’s strategic partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative, and it helps ensure that Appalachia is well-positioned to engage, compete, and succeed in the global economy of the 21st century,” stated ARC Federal Co-Chair Gohl.
The new Export Promotion Partnership outlines a comprehensive package of activities that will be jointly pursued by the Appalachian Regional Commission and the U. S. Commercial Service. They include:
• Education and training seminars to strengthen export skills among businesses;
• Promotion and market development projects to expand global awareness of Appalachian goods and services;
• Increased support for Appalachian export delegations bound for some of the largest and most important marketplaces in the world; and
• Targeting and identifying Appalachian industries that have high export potential.
As the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, the U.S. Commercial Service connects U.S. businesses with international buyers through offices in 108 U.S. cities and U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 70 countries.
Gohl underscored the need for partnership across all sectors of government. “Working closely with ARC’s local, state, and federal partners in support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) provides the very best approach to continuing to grow Appalachia’s export growth and success in the future.”
In 2010, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The partnership launched today supports this goal by educating U.S. exporters, particularly small- and medium-sized companies, about the benefits of expanding their exports to additional markets and by providing public and private sector resources to assist them. ARC joins several of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Strategic Partners who have connected more than 1,500 companies to federal export assistance.
Joining in the signing ceremony were members of ARC’s Export Trade Advisory Council (ETAC), which represent the 13 Appalachian states and its 73 Local Development Districts.