World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), the international affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the regional leader on trade and investment, cultivates a pipeline of export-ready firms, maximizes foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities, and enhances San Diego’s global identity.
In WTCSD’s 2023 Annual Report, see how we helped San Diego companies participate in a globally connected economy to create quality local jobs, and make the San Diego region more prosperous, competitive and resilient.
WTCSD’S CORE PILLARS
- Exports: Supporting exporters creates quality jobs and builds resiliency in small businesses. WTCSD grows regional exports by facilitating sustainable connections to customers and markets for local firms.
- Investment: Foreign investment strengthens competitive industry clusters and enables the expansion of local companies. WTCSD assists investing companies and supports international air service expansion.
- Global Identity: A strong global reputation for innovation makes the region more competitive and connected. WTCSD communicates the impact of global trends on the regional economy and stewards relationships with the markets that matter most for growth.
Priority: As the region’s Export Specialty Small Business Development Center (SBDC), WTCSD cultivates a pipeline of export-ready firms, and supports these companies in their efforts to grow in international markets.
- WTCSD was honored with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service, the highest recognition a U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.
- WTCSD concluded its MetroConnect cohort, helping 15 San Diego companies in tech, life sciences, and consumer goods generate more than $3.1 million in new export sales—a 60 percent increase from the start of the program—and awarding Access Trax the $25,000 Grand Prize.
- Export SBDC at WTCSD produced an ‘Exporting Foundations’ video series focused on the basics of exporting, international market entry strategy, and international financing.
Priority: Maximize foreign investment opportunities for the region by building and institutionalizing linkages with strategic markets abroad, as well as better leveraging local companies, partners, and assets.
- Following WTCSD’s 2022 Netherlands trade mission, Dutch applied research organization TNO revolutionizing urban development strategy established its first North American office in San Diego.
WTCSD refreshed its primary print collateral for foreign investment attraction. The new brochure tracks San Diego’s key industries, FDI data, notable exports, and a regional summary; and soon, top metrics will appear as a digital dashboard on WTCSD’s website. The brochure was printed in English and Korean ahead of WTCSD’s Korea trade mission, and included a Korea-San Diego economic comparison.
Priority: Enhance the San Diego region’s reputation and visibility to underpin investment retention and attraction efforts, as well as global connectivity goals.
Mayor Todd Gloria, SANDAG and County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas, and WTCSD led 2023’s trade mission to South Korea. The binational delegation of 30 civic, academic, and corporate leaders promoted San Diego’s key industries, established and strengthened public-private partnerships, and explored best practices in technology, life sciences, and clean energy innovation.
In honor of World Trade Month, WTCSD hosted its first World Trade Week San Diego. More than 200 international business professionals, consulates, and service providers from across Southern California attended the expo and MetroConnect VI Grand Prize PitchFest.