“I'm confident there isn't another conference similar to this in our marketplace,” said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO, who welcomed the crowd.
The event featured addresses by Christopher A. Padilla, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade; Michael K. Young, president of the University of Utah; Matthew R. Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Company International; Jeff Thredgold, president of Thredgold Economic Associates; and Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, gave the keynote address.
U of U President/Globalist Michael Young was honored as “Utah International Leader of the Year” by the World Trade Association of Utah and World Trade Center Utah. Young has developed a comprehensive action plan to imbed foreign experience into every college within the university.
Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., received the “2008 Global Pacesetter” award from Zions Bank. Black Diamond has established itself as a leader among Utah businesses in taking its products to the global marketplace.
Attendees were told there has never been a better time for Utah businesses to take their products and services to the global marketplace. In fact, it's our openness to trade and foreign investment capital that is currently cushioning the U.S. economy, said Padilla. “Openness is part of the American creed and that is who we are,” he added.
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed, 27 million jobs have been created while three percent of U.S. jobs were lost to foreign trade, Padilla said.
Utah businesses have certainly taken the “openness” creed to heart. Utah currently ranks fifth among western states for exports, and in January set a record of $1 billion in exports.
Howard also spoke of the need for openness. “I think the world cries aloud in 2008 for a reaffirmation of the view that protection is something of the past,” he said.
Young added that the annual International Trade and Business Conference has become the most significant international trade event in Utah.
In addition to hearing from the slate of high-powered speakers, attendees had the opportunity to network with each other and mingle among the many exhibitors, which included:
- * Cargo-Link International
- * Consular Corps of Utah
- * Customs Info
- * Euler Hermes ACI
- * Exportfolio
- * Export
- * Import Bank
- * Governor's Office of Economic Development
- * High Desert CHB Inc.
- * Miller Global Business Center at Salt Lake Community College
- * Salt Lake Chamber
- * U.S. Commercial Service
- * U.S. Small Business Administration
- * U.S. Translation Company
- * Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
- * Utah Valley University – Woodbury School of Business, Office of International Affairs
- * World Trade Association of Utah
- * World Trade Center Utah
- * Zions Bank – Treasury Management
- * Zions Bank – International Banking