Over $11.8 billion in merchandise traveled out of Maryland and into markets around the world in 2012.
While Maryland already has a flourishing export market, the Maryland/DC District Export Council is working to build that number even higher. The DEC plans to hold its first-ever Celebration of International Trade in Linthicum Heights on May 21, with a special focus on training businesses in exporting goods and services.
Registration for the Celebration of International Trade has reached 70 percent and will remain open online until the day of the event. Admission, including breakfast and lunch, is free for government employees and $99 for others.
The world market is a “surprisingly small place,” according to Carl Livesay, chairman of the DEC.
“Businesses perceive that there are overwhelming barriers to exporting goods and services, and that’s just not the case. It is confusing and it can be cumbersome, but if you align yourself with businesses and people who have traveled that path before, they will help light the way,” he said.
The region benefits from transportation systems that easily support trade, including the top-ranking Port of Baltimore and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Livesay also described the area as a “hotbed and innovation and technology.”
“There’s no other area in the country that is better suited, better qualified or has access to stronger resources than we do here in Maryland,” he said.
Ultimately, as more companies in Maryland and Washington, D.C. trade internationally, the more the overall economy will grow and the national trade balance will improve. He said, ”We do not seek to help companies import foreign goods or services into the United States. To put it bluntly, this is about creating permanent, sustainable jobs right here in Maryland.”
The event’s main draw is an extensive list of prominent speakers, including Robert Walker, Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development; Laszlo Horvath, CEO or Active Media; and Todd Marks, CEO of Mindgrub Technologies.
Dozens of other industry leaders and exhibitors will present training sessions, ranging from mitigating risk in international trade to strategic tax consideration.