Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 Port Tour Sold Out!

Adam Say raffling prizes
Posted by Tina

We had a lot of fun during this year's tour of the Philadelphia seaport and UPS hub at the Philadelphia airport - thanks to our enthusiastic hosts, Adam Say and his team mates at UPS, and Dominic O'Brien and his colleagues at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. Thanks to both organizations for helping us once again organize this tour!

Adam kept everyone entertained by raffling off prizes during the drive to Philadelphia - all participants received raffle tickets and everyone was a winner.  (On the way back we had to work to win additional prizes, as Adam kept a "trade trivia" game going. )

The tour started at the seaport - which happens to also be a military port, and thus we were not allowed to take any pictures ourselves.  But if anyone is interested to learn more about the port and the operation of it, there is a lot of information on the PRPA website.  We toured the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, which is the Port's largest facility, and we saw state-of-the-art handling for cargoes such as containers, steel, perishables, and heavy lift cargoes.  Products from our region were on the docks, ready to be shipped.  Lunch was hosted at the PRPA headquarters, near the Tioga Terminal, and Dominic provided an overview of the port's capabilities, its history and ongoing improvement projects to meet future demands.   

We then traveled to the Philadelphia International Airport for a tour of the UPS facilities.  We were met by two UPS pilots who provided some insight into air cargo movement, and then took us for a tour into their cargo planes.

UPS Pilot explains how cargo is loaded into planes

All of us got to try the pilot's seat!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"How to Export" Seminar Attracts New-To-Export Companies

Posted by Tina

Today's morning seminar was offered in conjunction with our partner organizations, the Kutztown University SDBC and the Harrisburg Regional Chamber/CREDC International Committee.

We were very fortunate to have a great group of speakers, including Bill Folker, Senior Vice President at RBS Citizens NA  and Lou Tierno, Letter of Credit Trade Officer at Fulton Bank.  Their discussion focused on risk mitigation, practical tips on letters of credit and a brief overview of available financing programs to support export growth by US companies. 

Janet Kolokithas, International Trade Representative with the State's Center for Trade Development, provided an overview of Pennsylvania's free trade program, including their network of 21 overseas trade offices (providing services in 64 countries), their subsidized trade show booth program and industry specific trade missions, as well the the Market Access Grant program, which provides a matching grant of up to $3000 for small and medium sized companies interested in traveling to a new international market. 

The last panel was made up of two WTC members, Mike Tarsa, VP of Sales for CL Sturkey, Inc. and Howard Minnich, CEO of Automation Systems Interconnect.  Both shared their own involvement in global trade, their challenges and successes and provided some important points to consider before committing to international expansion.

Thank you! as always to our presenters, who answered a lot of questions from the audience and graciously stayed after the program to speak with individual participants - and thank you as well to International Committee volunteers Pat Bosma and Ann Moffitt, for bringing in breakfast treats!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Enjoying Indian Food

Posted by Tina

WTC members and friends enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Passage to India restaurant in Harrisburg last week. 

Overview of Indian food and culture starts off the dinner

Tina got to model a traditional Indian Saree - compete with gold thread!

Part of the delicious buffet
Our buffet featured a variety of traditional Indian dishes, including Vegetable Pakora, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Ahuri, Vegetable Korma, Palak  Paneer, Rice and freshly baked Naan.
We were again joined by members of the Harrisburg World Affairs Council for our joint "Enjoy the World" dining series event.

US-Bulgaria Chamber in America Promotes Trade & Investment Opportunities

By guest blogger Eliz Nestorov, President,US-Bulgaria Chamber in America  The recently founded U.S.-Bulgarian Chamber in America (USBGC) is ...