World Trade Center San Diego’s 2023 Annual Report

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.


  • 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.


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.




WTCSD’s Q4 Global Brief: Enhancing San Diego’s global identity

Each month, World Trade Center San Diego delivers the latest global news and updates straight to your inbox.

In Q4 2023, here’s what you need to know about San Diego’s global trade, investment, and engagement. ➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief each quarter.

Mayor Todd Gloria leads trade mission to South Korea

To strengthen business relationships and grow quality jobs in San Diego, Mayor Todd Gloria, SANDAG and County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas, and WTCSD led a binational trade mission to South Korea. With the U.S. government incentivizing the reshoring of supply chains and our regions’ complementary strengths in the life sciences, semiconductor, clean energy, and biotechnology sectors, South Korea is a critical global market and natural partner for San Diego companies expanding globally.
➝ Learn Why Korea

Reflections on our trade mission by Dr. Nikia Clarke

WTCSD’s 30 trade mission delegates showcased major regional development projects for foreign investors, toured Qualcomm and Illumina’s Korea offices, and explored opportunities to better connect our regions through travel and government partnerships while in South Korea. Most importantly, WTCSD’s Executive Director Dr. Nikia Clarke writes, “our binational region—with San Diego’s innovation ecosystem, Imperial Valley’s clean energy leadership, and Tijuana’s advanced manufacturing prowess—demonstrated its ability to compete like never before.”
➝Read the Recap

WTCSD in 2023: National recognition, export growth, and global connections

WTCSD cultivates a pipeline of export-ready firms, maximizes foreign direct investment opportunities, and enhances San Diego’s global identity. From winning the President’s “E” Award for growing regional exports through Export SBDC and MetroConnect to leading a Mayoral trade mission to South Korea, see how we supported 32 company projects with and through our partners in 2023.
➝Read our Annual Report

San Diego News


Grow your company in san diego ↓

World Trade Center San Diego works directly with companies—free of charge—to help them expand internationally and grow in San Diego.

  • Export Specialty Center: For small companies interested in learning about exporting and international growth.
  • MetroConnect: For small and medium-sized companies ready to export and grow internationally.

➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief delivered straight to your inbox.

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