Trade partners in Ventura County joined forces at the Port of Hueneme to kick off a program celebrating World Trade Month. The Port timely hosted this event on National Maritime Day.
Participating were representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, the District Export Council of Southern California, the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County and the Small Business Development Center the announce a robust partnership under the World Trade Center of Oxnard. The launch of this partnership promises to build strategic networks with the business community and economic development teams to create new avenues for businesses to tap international markets. The World Trade Center organization consists of 340 licenses worldwide and provides unique access to the 95% consumer base outside the US. This new partnership sets the stage to really put this asset to work and create an economic catalyst for the local business community.
Port Commission President Jason Hodge marked the occasion with the statement, “80% of the world’s population lives near the ocean and 90% of the world’s commerce moves by sea. The Port, through its World Trade Center license offers a unique advantage for local businesses to better leverage their business strengths to enter into world commerce.”
The event’s Master of Ceremonies, Board vice President Mary Anne Rooney said, “The Port acknowledges that international trade is a strong component in our regional economy. We’re excited with the opportunity to bring these local resources together to help grow business for Ventura County.”
Guest speakers included Richard Swanson, representing the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Pacific South region, who stated, "Commercial diplomacy and peace through commerce are hallmarks of global trade and investment. Communities that value the trade relationships between countries will be more collaborative, innovative, and ultimately more competitive."
Bruce Stenslie with Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County and another presenter remarked, “International Trade and foreign Direct Investment are great drivers behind rising living standards and World Trade Centers play an important role in facilitating both.”
“We are thinking out of the box here and really trying to launch a more visible and effective program. Our role as a public purpose entity is to build the economy and create jobs. This puts another great tool in our tool box.” commented Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director.
The Port of Hueneme plays a vital role in the intermodal logistics supply chain and is critical to the economic health of Ventura County and Southern California. The Port supports the transport of over $7 billion in cargo, generating a $1 billion economic impact, and provides more than 9,400 direct, indirect, induced and influenced jobs regionally. The Port is a special district governed by 5 elected Commissioners.