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NUSACC Supports World Trade Week in New York

posted on: May 26, 2016

Press release: National U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce 


Last week, the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) and other local organizations in New York City supported the New York District Export Council’s 11th Annual World Trade Week Awards Breakfast. Janine Colon, Associate Director of NUSACC’s New York office, attended the breakfast along with representatives from over 60 U.S. companies and 14 international trade offices. Ms. Rose Sager, Trade Representative from the Kingdom of Bahrain, joined Ms. Colon in promoting business with the Arab world. Joseph Schoonmaker, Chair of the New York Export District Council, praised the work of the partner organizations. “The success of World Trade Week in New York is made possible by the strength of our international partner organizations, such as NUSACC, which has been a partner since 2012. Such partnerships allow World Trade Week to truly be a global event, and raise the profile of New York as an international hub.”

The Honorable Stefan Selig
Under Secretary of Commerce
“Our Chamber looks forward to this event every year because it helps to promote New York on the international stage,” noted David Hamod, President & CEO of NUSACC. “For decades, our Chamber’s New York office has been a strong advocate for local and regional companies looking to do business with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This is part of what makes World Trade Week so special.”

Each year, the President of the United States of America declares the third week of May as “World Trade Week” in a proclamation that explains the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy. Exports from New York State supported the U.S. economy to the tune of $80 billion in 2015, making New York the 4th largest exporter among America’s 50 States. $3.7 billion of those exports went to the MENA region, a growing market for New York traders. (To view the full report on New York exports to the MENA region, please click HERE.)

A New York Perspective

The World Trade Week Awards Breakfast honors companies which have excelled in export and export services. This year’s keynote address was delivered by the President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Maria Torres-Springer. Her remarks focused on the many NYCEDC programs that are designed to stimulate international trade in New York City. In short, she noted, “New York City is tasked with strengthening and diversifying the engines of our economy while keeping NYC globally competitive.”

Maria Torres-Spring, President of the NYC
Economic Development Corporation

Programs such as IN2NYC and NYC Venture Fellows help foreign-based companies and entrepreneurs to establish a presence in New York City by providing mentoring, networking opportunities, and innovation ecosystems. Another program, NYCEDC’s Global Business Exchange, assists New York-based entities to expand into other global cities, like Paris and Milan. 

Torres-Springer emphasized the importance of the attendees and partner organizations that support World Trade Week in New York City. She noted, “To build on that very solid foundation, we know that we need the continued partnership of many of the individuals and organizations represented in this room.” World Trade Week New York City’s partner roster includes over 14 foreign trade organizations, seven local and international chambers of commerce – including the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce – and six government offices (representing the city, state, and federal levels).

A U.S. Department of Commerce Perspective

Under Secretary Stefan Selig, another keynote speaker, offered a Federal Government perspective. He spoke of New York’s long history of supporting international trade . . . from the settlement of New Amsterdam, to the World’s Fair in 1939 (during which the idea of a world trade center first emerged), to the establishment of the World Trade Center in 1973.

Selig went on to highlight New York’s role in America’s economic recovery following the 2008 financial crisis. “It is bright and clear that there would have been no clear path to that historic recovery if it did not include the exceptional trade and investment strength of this metropolitan area,” he noted. “In the same period of years that our country was producing record exports, the New York Metropolitan Area was either #1 or #2 in terms of goods export hubs in the entire country.”

Selig continued, “Between 2011 and 2014, which is the latest data available, the New York City metro area produced record consecutive goods export each year. That includes 2014, when merchandise exports from this area topped $105 billion.” Selig underscored the role that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have played in the New York area’s export revenues: “It is worth noting that 98 percent of the goods exported in the New York City Metropolitan Area are from SMEs representing more than 32,000 businesses.”