California WTCs Craft Public-Private Partnership Program
World Trade Centers work to revive the state's moribund trade promotion programs
SAN DIEGO - 03/25/04 - The World Trade Centers (WTCs) that serve California are working with Secretary Sunne Wright McPeak of the California's Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to look at ways to revive the state's moribund trade and foreign investment program.
At its recent quarterly meeting in San Diego, the California World Trade Centers proposed developing a stronger international network with their strategic partners - the US Department of Commerce, the statewide network of Centers for International Trade Development (CITDs), and the State of California "to carry out a more comprehensive Global Public-Private Partnership Program," according to Jose Duenas, executive director of the Bay Area World Trade Center in Oakland.
Proposed is'the Global Public-Private Partnership Program "that will leverage more effectively the public-private partnerships that the California World Trade Centers network has already established with its partners to promote California's businesses globally," he said.
"When California maximized its exports in 2000, international trade contributed to one-in-seven jobs in the state," said Duenas. "But when exports fell sharply in 2001 and 2002, reflecting both a worldwide slowdown in the demand for high-tech goods and sluggish economic growth among our major trading partners, job losses ensued, contributing to California's high unemployment rate - one of the highest in the United States."
According to Duenas, the WTCs are "ideally positioned" to assist in promoting California globally "by tapping into its base of more than 25,000 statewide clients, a global network of 300 World Trade Centers, and unique relationships to ports and local governments."
These efforts "will focus on increasing exports, attracting foreign direct investment, business development, and creating and retaining jobs in the state," he said.
World Trade Centers are located in San Diego, Los Angeles / Long Beach, Oxnard, Oakland, Orange County, and Sacramento with another scheduled to open in Palm Springs.
The California World Trade Centers have worked seamlessly with the US Department of Commerce and the CITDs and within their respective regions by entering into public-private partnerships with local governments throughout the state.
But, said Duenas, "a limited state budget and local governments that are strapped to pay for increased emergency services "make it impossible for any single organization to reach the hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout the state and provide them with the comprehensive assistance they need to compete overseas."
To broaden its statewide outreach, representatives the California World Trade Centers will be meeting over the next month with Secretary McPeak and other alliance members to draft a more detailed partnership plan and take the project to the next level, he added.
For more information go to: www.bawtc.com; www.sdwtc.org; www.wtcanet.org; and www.norcalwtc.org.
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