Orange County World Trade Week Captures Global Audience

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Main News Photo

In its sixth year, the Greater Irvine Chamber’s annual Orange County Work Trade Week Forum (OCWTW) captured a global audience with attendees tuning in to the digitized event from countries including Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and various states in the U.S.

A lineup of speakers and panelists from across the globe delivered information on the current state of international trade as it relates to the economic disruptions caused by the Coronavirus. 

Mark O’Connell, CEO, OCO Global, calling in from Belfast, Ireland, in his keynote discussed Globalization: Pandemic, Populism, and Power, bringing attention to sectors hit hardest by the pandemic including travel and hospitality, aerospace, and transportation, and energy and infrastructure. O’Connell also outlined sectors that are showing to be resilient in the face of the global health crisis, including the food and drink industry, and the healthcare and life sciences industries and forecasted the industry sectors most likely to grow as a consequence of this disruption.

Barry CosgraveK&L Gates LLP, calling in from his London office; John Evans, Tractus Asia Ltd. calling in from his Bangkok office; and Ken WengrodFTC Commercial Corp. calling in from Los Angeles, participated in the panel discussion, Navigating the New Trade Landscape - China, BREXIT, USMCA. Moderated by Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, the expert panelists focused on trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, China, and the U.K., and offered advice to U.S. businesses on how to stabilize and grow market share through global trade.

The program included an Orange County Trade and Export Overview from Jim Mayfield, acting Pacific South network director, Irvine Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Commercial Service. Mayfield reminded attendees of the value and opportunities in trade throughout the world.

A number of awards are presented during the OCWTW program each year. This year, Suavecito was named the Exporter of the Year for its successful export strategies. Launched in 2010, the cosmetic product company now exports to more than 55 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico, and Russia. 

Stephen Armstrong, co-founder and president of MAPLE Business Council and principal of 360 Marketer, has been named the 2020 Partner of the Year. Armstrong has proven to be a constant and committed partner of the Chamber for a number of years, helping to grow the Chamber’s international presence, promoting trade between Canada and Orange County, and touting Irvine for trade and investment. 

The recipient of the 2020 Global Leadership Award is Leigh Volkland, senior director of government affairs of Edwards Lifesciences. Volkland serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She is also the co-chair of the Chamber’s International Development Committee and a champion of the Chamber’s Foriegn Direct Investment work in the U.K.

The May 12- 14 digital event was presented by the District Export Council of Southern California and produced by the Chamber’s Business and International Development Manager Jessica Yip.

Since its inaugural event in 2015, OCWTW has convened thousands of attendees from Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of the business community, growing awareness of the impact of international trade and export in Orange County.

The keynote and panel livestreams can be viewed here.

For more information on Orange County World Trade Week Forum, and to become involved in the annual event, contact Linda DiMario.


Category: Chamber, Economic Development, International Trade, International News, Foreign Direct Investment