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International Trade Summit set for Tuesday

By Staff | Jun 4, 2011

Did you know Cape Coral has two designated foreign trade zones?
The city’s economic development office is betting most business owners didn’t know that little fact about Cape Coral, and that many don’t know the ins and outs of international trade.
To help fill those gaps the EDO will hold it first “International Trade Summit” Tuesday at Tarpon Point, with three hours of networking and education components aimed at giving the local business community what they need to succeed on an international level.
Some of the speakers include Carol Obermeier from the Southwest Florida International Airport to discuss Foreign Trade Zones and what they mean to the city; Charlotte Starfire, director of Global Trade Solutions for Suntrust Bank will discuss foreign trade and growth; And Rebecca Torres will discuss exporter’s resources.
EDO Business Recruitment Specialist Audie Lewis said the state is third in the nation for importing and exporting, but that our region was still underserved by international trade.
The summit will give people the opportunity to learn not to be intimidated by international business.
“We need to start catching up,” said Lewis, also one of the event speakers. “We wanted to get the business community wrapped around this idea, and get them to start to think globally.”
Lewis said the speakers are tops in their particular fields, and attendees just need to come with an open mind and ready to take some notes. The event is free and open to public.
“Foreign trade in our area is important. This is going to help local businesses reach out to these markets,” he said.
Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce President Mike Quaintance said the chamber will not have a presence at the event, but is encouraging all of its members to attend, as well as loaning some equipment to the event.
Quaintance said he thought many local businesses don’t understand international trade, or are possibly fearful of the processes.
“I think there’s some good opportunities for businesses to reach out of the box for success,” he said. “Its really an opportunity to become educated on what you need to do.”
The Cape Coral International Trade Summit will be held at The Resort at Marina Village at Tarpon Pointe on June 7 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. For more information call the EDO at 574-0444.