Nearly 800 business leaders and members of the diplomatic corps kicked off a month-long celebration of world trade in Southern California
LOS ANGELES – Today, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn joined U.S. Representative Ed Royce, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and nearly 800 business executives and members of the diplomatic corps to kick off the 90th Annual World Trade Week at the JW Marriott at LA Live.
The morning’s program featured a conversation with Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, in which he shared insight on global trends in the entertainment industry.
The L.A. Area Chamber’s annual Kickoff Breakfast jump starts more than 30 events hosted by partnering organizations celebrating world trade in Southern California. World Trade Week dedicates itself to educating the public on the importance and benefits of global trade on the local and national economy through a series of educational programs and events.
“California runs on trade. Our state’s prosperity is tied to companies importing and exporting anything from airplanes to computers to diamonds to almonds,” said U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The longer we delay on developing strong trade deals, the more our competitors are doing to undermine the global system of trade the United States has worked so hard to build. I commend the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and its members for leading on this important issue.”
Following the discussion, attendees also heard from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who addressed the audience and advocated for increasing regional employment through exports.
"Los Angeles draws its greatest strength from the economic diversity we've forged through innovation. That's why we're one of the world's largest trade hubs," said Mayor Garcetti. "Now we must build our future by broadening industry bases like aerospace and manufacturing, and investing in world-class infrastructure to keep us ahead in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”
In addition, as part of the World Trade Week’s Education Initiative, 12 local college and high school students were awarded scholarships totaling nearly $10,000. The program also included an award ceremony honoring individual organizations and companies that have had a major impact on the international trade community.
Fred Latuperissa, director of Southern California’s Inland Empire Office for the United States Department of Commerce (USDOC), and Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association (CFA), were jointly awarded the Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award for their outstanding contributions to the world trade community in Southern California.
This year’s Export Achievement Award, given to companies in the five-county area who have demonstrated success in exporting or in providing export services, was awarded to three companies; California State University, Northridge Tseng College; Combustion Associates Inc., and Micronova Manufacturing Inc. were each recognized for their successes over the past two years.
The Foreign Direct Investment Award was awarded to both Kinkisharyo and Kuehne + Nagel, Inc. for being non-U.S. companies that have made a significant investment in the Southern California economy.
International Trade Education Programs, Inc. was awarded the Bob Kleist Leadership Award for their inspirational and visionary leadership in the development of leaders in the global trade industry.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.