The reason why so many things are left undone is fear; fear of failure, fear of the unknown. This is due in part to ignorance played upon by myth and conjecture. SACC-Carolinas took it upon itself to help to allay these fears with factual and knowledgeable information presented in symposium form to interested groups on the 22nd of March 2012 inCharlotte,North Carolina at the law offices of Moore Van Allen in Bank of America Tower.
The symposium included organizations from multiple countries to show the vagaries of international business development but also the many similarities. The target countries wereGermany,RussiaandSweden. SACC-Carolinas partnered with the Russian-American Business Council and the German Language and Cultural center to organize an afternoon International trade and business symposium.
The goal of this symposium was two-part, discussing what foreign companies need to know when coming to the US to do business and also what US companies need to know if they are to export products and services or expand abroad. This symposium was unique particularly for SACC as it is the first time this type of dual focus symposium has been conducted. Too often trade conferences focus only on attracting companies to the particular location where they are conducted and ignore the incredible opportunity to inform and educate local companies on the benefits, as well as pitfalls, of international business and trade.
The speakers were, in some cases literally, a “Who’s who” in the international business community that covered the spectrum of trade from international business and immigration attorneys to corporate finance accountants and logistics experts. Representatives from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, US Department of Commerce and the SmallBusinessTechnologyDevelopmentCenterwere present to inform of Ex-Im bank possibilities and US Commerce Gold Key programs. Each speaker provided companies with additional information and resources on how to best move forward abroad. Swedenwas well represented by Linda McCarty who spoke on cross border deals and how to properly structure them as well as differences in doing business in the USfor Swedish companies and differences for US companies in Sweden. Therese Linde, President of SACC-USA, spoke on the various programs that SACC-USA offers including: export programs and J1-visa for interns. Also in attendance was Mrs. Kohn-Radberg of the Swedish Embassy who came to Charlotteto attend the symposium and then to interview city leaders in Charlotteon how they dealt with the Global Financial Crisis. This was an initiative taken in cities across the world to be shown to city and regional leaders in Swedenon the 18th of April.
The program ran for the entire afternoon and when attendees were not listening to detailed presentations on the intricacies and nuances of global trade they were treated to a string quartet in the lobby for an added touch.
This event is planned to be a regular bi-annual event due in no small part to the attendance and participation levels for a first time symposium. Any member interested in seeing the participant panel list and topics can contact James Kemper at firstname.lastname@example.org for an electronic agenda booklet.