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Economic Development Corporation Hosts Embassy Of South Africa




EDC President  CEO Jim Coleman, Team EDC and 70 Local Business Owners Welcome Minister Sandile Tyini from the Embassy of South AfricaLargo, MD, July 21, 2016 - Today, the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and CEO Jim Coleman and his International Business Development Team had the opportunity to meet with the Embassy of South Africa Minister of Economics for an open discussion about trade and business opportunities.  More than 70 business owners came out to hear from key officials with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the EDC’s International Business Development Division as they talked about the valuable resources available to local companies who are serious about taking advantage of business opportunities in South Africa.

“This is how we do things in Prince George’s County,” said Coleman. “County Executive Baker has commissioned the EDC to target high growth countries and explore opportunities for business, investment and economic partnership.  Together, with our growth partners at the federal and State level, we are bringing local companies millions of dollars in trade and business that can literally change their lives and the lives of the County residents they will be able to hire.  South Africa is just the beginning.”

Attendees at this exclusive event heard from Mr. Coleman and his international team who highlighted the benefits of international companies doing business with Prince George’s County and discussed how important international trade missions are for the local economy. 

The highlight of the event came with the remarks from the Honorable Sandile Tyini, Minister of Economics from the Embassy of South Africa who talked about the business opportunities that are available to U.S. companies in South Africa. 

“There is ample opportunity for trade and investment in South Africa, particularly in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, research and development, green energy and business processing.  Doing business with South Africa serves as an entry point to the 700 million residents throughout the entire continent of Africa,” said Minister Tyini. “Today was an excellent event. I was overwhelmed by the reception, the attendance and the attention to my presentation.  I was also impressed by the services and resources the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation has available to its local businesses. We look forward to doing business with Prince George’s County.”

The panel of speakers received many questions about steps to partnering with local businesses in South Africa and the government of South Africa on investments and development projects.  Attendees were very excited about the prospects of opening their businesses in South Africa and partnering with South African businesses. 

“Today was powerful and very informative,” said Renee Miller Clayton, founder and owner of The Elements by Renee, a County jewelry company.  “For people interested in getting into export/import industry, this forum was very encouraging and doable.  We learned about resources and assistance for our visions. The EDC was very supportive and the information wasn’t overwhelming about a country that we usually don’t have a connection with.”

“I didn’t realize there were so many opportunities available in South Africa for people like us. A lot of times, we don’t look beyond our own shores, so this opened up my eyes to opportunities that I need to be a part of,” said Vincent Price, CEO of Global Lynz Solutions, LLC in Mitchellville, MD.  “I’m glad that local businesses are being included at the table of opportunity.  As a long time County resident who is familiar with County agencies, I have to say that this Economic Development Corporation is really making a difference for local companies.”

Robert Telchin, Senior International Trade Specialist from the U.S. Department of Commerce provided information about the resources companies can take advantage of to expand their presence in South Africa.

“It is exciting to see such a terrific turnout today,” said Telchin. “It show the seriousness that companies in Prince George’s are placing in doing business in South Africa and the rest of the continent. The Commerce Department has invested extensive resources into helping American companies expand and enter different countries, and we look forward to partnering more extensively in the future.”

At the conclusion of the briefing, EDC International Business Director Martin Ezemma gave the local businesses an overview of the County’s upcoming trade mission to South Africa and encouraged the attendees to sign up and participate.

“It is important for Prince George’s County to be at the forefront of international trade in this region and to host mutual briefings to venture into new global markets,” said Ezemma.  “Not only are we uniquely located just outside the nation’s capital, but the international briefings are an excellent prelude to potential trade missions with target counties and strengthens our business and cultural relationships.”

Over the next four months, the EDC will be hosting other mutual international briefings with the embassies of Canada, Nigeria, China and Mexico. Companies interested in growing revenue through international trade and gaining market leads on lucrative business opportunities. Companies interested in finding out more about international trade should join the EDC on July 29th for the Embassy of Canada Briefing at EDC headquarters, 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 140, Largo, MD 20772. 

To reserve your seat for this exciting and informative event, visit www.pgcedc.com/events.

For more information on international business development, contact Pradeep Ganguly (pganguly@co.pg.md.us) or 301-583-4650 or go to our website www.pgcedc.com.