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County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation And Maryland Department Of Commerce Announce Partnership To Expand International Trade Opportunities For Local Companies

(l. to r. County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III; EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman; Maryland Department of Commerce International Trade Managing Director Signe Pringle; EDC Executive Vice President Pradeep GangulyLargo, MD, January 25, 2016 - This week, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and CEO Jim Coleman joined County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, as he announced the next phase of his Prince George's International! initiative before a select group of local and international business leaders at the AC Hotel by Marriott in National Harbor.  During the presentations, Mr. Baker announced Prince George's County's partnership with the State Department of Commerce to execute four high-impact, targeted, and co-hosted trade missions and to conduct training sessions for companies interested in exporting goods. Notable attendees at this event included the Ambassador of Malaysia and the Ambassador of Mauritius, both of whom indicated their intent to facilitate bringing native businesses to Prince George's County.

"International trade is the next frontier for Prince George's County," said County Executive Baker.  "We live in a global economy and it is important for us to be able to go into markets that we have not been in before. There are two things you can't invent anymore: land and location right next to the nation's capital. This is what Prince George's County offers the world." 

Highlights of the event included County Executive Baker unveiling his four-point, three-year plan for international business development.  Point one is to execute 12 Prince George's County locally hosted International Business Development Summits, in partnership with embassies from targeted countries.  Point two is to partner with Governor Hogan's Department of Commerce to execute four co-hosted trade missions over the next three years. The County's collaboration with the Department of Commerce ensures a greater impact at a lower cost to local companies interested in trading abroad. Point three is to complete and execute up to four County-hosted, targeted international trade missions.  Point four is to rapidly prepare and enable our local businesses to export their goods and services to the world.  To that end, the Economic Development Corporation will host a forum with the State on exporting goods and services on February 17th at the EDC's headquarters in Largo.

"We want to better position Prince George's County as the Gateway to the U.S. market," said EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman. "Through the strength and power of our partnerships with the embassies as well as the State Department of Commerce, County Executive Baker is leveraging our collective resources to bring Prince George's County to the entire world. Our goal is to provide greater opportunities for local and international businesses, which in turn translates into more job creation in Prince George's County for our residents."

Moving forward, Prince George's County will be an official partner with the Maryland Department of Commerce on its Maryland Partners in International Trade (MAPIT) program. MAPIT will give local companies the tools and services needed to 'Map Out' opportunities to market their products and services all over the world. 

"There are several reasons businesses should think about starting an export business," said Signe Pringle, Managing Director, Office of International Investment and Trade, Maryland Department of Commerce.  "Whether a company has excess capacity that they don't know what to do with, or is a new exporter or experienced exporter, the Department of Commerce has a program for them.  We have ten offices around the world, and can also provide financial assistance in the form of a travel grant for up to $10,000 to cover expenses to travel to trade shows, business missions or other international travel."

The event concluded with His Excellency Ambassador Sooroj Phokeer, U.S. Ambassador of Mauritius committing to bringing 17 business delegations from Mauritius to Prince George's County to discuss international trade and business opportunities to import technology and medicine.  His Excellency Ambassador Datuk Dr. Awang Adek Hussin, U.S. Ambassador of Malaysia also addressed the group and committed to bringing 30 business delegations from Malaysia to Prince George's County.  

In September of last year, Mr. Baker led a 22 member delegation to China. Several from that delegation joined Mr. Baker at the luncheon. One of the former delegates, Robert Bruce, President and CEO of MedTech Enginuity Corporation, connected with the Xiamen, China tech company, AiTouch and formed a strategic alliance for the exclusive distribution of AiTouch's portable charger in the United States.  The devices went on sale in time for Christmas and were a huge success, netting more than $590,000 in revenue on the first shipment.

"The trade mission actually created an additional line of business that I wasn't expecting," said Mr. Bruce. "The relationships that were created as a result of the trade mission are spearheading more job creation opportunities for me and many of the other delegates on the trip." 

To view highlights from the International Business Luncheon, click here.  For more information on the international business opportunities and future trade missions, contact Pradeep Ganguly  at pganguly@pgcedc.com or 301-583-4650.