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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


WTC Q1 2019

April 10, 2019

World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego's flagship export assistance program, MetroConnect, helps local companies in the region with their efforts in accessing international markets and executing sales overseas. For the 2019 program, twenty companies are selected to participate, including five defense companies who received exclusive access to a consultant that advised on regulatory compliance issues in addition to the services available for supporting international expansion plans.

During Q1 2019, WTC, LRAD Corporation and JAS Forwarding were able to sit down and discuss specific ways to potentially update LRAD's internal and export compliance procedures for its long-range acoustic devices. To assist in furthering its global footprint, WTC was able to leverage the organization's extensive global network and put LRAD in touch with data privacy experts in the European Union.

Additionally, LRAD identified South and Central America as target areas for potential sales growth, and the WTCSD team connected the company with a vetted list of port operators in Latin America and the Caribbean. These relationships stemmed from a delegation held in fall 2018, in partnership with Port of San Diego and World Trade Center, DC. 

 

April 10, 2019

World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) works to connect San Diego to global resources. Before a company sets up a location in San Diego, it needs customers. That's where WTCSD comes in.

 

Recognizing San Diego's role as a cleantech’s hub and the region's forward-thinking adoption of green policies, in January, a Japanese-maker of alternative paper and plastic products reached out to World Trade Center San Diego. Not only was the firm interested in potential customers that might need its product, but they were also looking to cultivate relationships with local manufacturers.

Through WTCSD's MetroConnect participants and other regional partners, WTCSD was able to compile a list of potential leads and provided curated introductions to hoteliers and retailers in San Diego with a track record of progressive climate action. On the manufacturing end, EDC also was able to connect the company with contract manufacturers in the San Diego region, which lays the foundation for the Japanese-based company to make a future investment in San Diego.

 

April 1, 2019
 
On March 7, WTC San Diego in partnership with Tendy LLC hosted a roundtable event which facilitated proactive conversations between business executives from San Diego’s innovation economy and representatives from the Consulates General of Ethiopia, South Africa, and Zambia. Discussions centered around opportunities and innovations within the healthcare, energy, infrastructure, mobility, and tourism sectors, as well as ways in which each region could grow and improve upon their economic development strategies. This event, a first of its kind here in SD, is a follow-up to a similar event organized by Tendy LLC in New York City, during UN General Assembly Week, with the goal of demystifying what it means to do business in various African countries, educating businesses and organizations on the opportunities present and growing in these nations, and facilitating a venue through which partnerships and deal flow can be established. Takeda Research, the premiere biotech-like research center for the Japan-based pharmaceutical company, hosted this event which drew attendees from local companies and organizations such as Cleantech San Diego, the City of San Diego, UC San Diego, Kaiser Permanente, FoxFury Lighting Solutions, PKL Services, IPS Group Inc, and Viasat.
 
In the healthcare and medical roundtable Zambia’s Honorary Consul, Robert Sichinga, noted that countries are seeking committed, long-term international partnerships. In the past, large companies have come in, conducted their study, helped a limited number of individuals from the hosting country, and departed. The hope is that in the future, these companies look for more long-lasting, sustainable, relationships to truly increase the availability and efficiency of modern medicine on the continent, while also allowing for knowledge transfer, training, and education of local populations, as well as potential job increases. 
 
According to the Ethiopian investment agency, foreign direct investment is booming in the East African country. This is primarily a result of its increased focus on manufacturing and agriculture. As trade frameworks such as AGOA emerge and receive resounding support from African nations, countries are realizing a renewed energy and focus on inter-African trade as well as increasing their partnerships with other trading blocks to boost investments in agriculture, agri-processing, transportation infrastructure, and renewable energy.
 
Like anywhere else, life in Africa is not without challenges. In 2014, the World Bank estimated that nearly 600 million people were without electricity. Access to clean water and medical care also remains an issue. However, with challenges come great opportunities for innovation, change, and collaboration. The CEO of FoxFury Lighting Solutions, Mario Cugini, provided the delegates with a demonstration of how products such as its scene lights—high intensity, highly functioning LED lights which could greatly aid hospitals and operating rooms and other critical infrastructure whose efficacy is reduced by unreliable power supplies. The potential for such lighting applications is endless in sectors such as wildlife management, first responder/emergency operations, healthcare, infrastructure and construction. IPS Group, the leader in smart meter technology and implementation, was also on hand for a joint conversation with Viasat around how investments in solar energy, wireless infrastructure, and banking solutions are all imperative to taking their technology abroad.
 
For more information on how you can tap into business opportunities within the African continent, please contact Lucas Coleman at the World Trade Center San Diego. 
 
The image above is from the roundtable. Pictured Back L to R: John Reeves (Viasat), Robert Sichinga (HonConZambia), Oscar Adley (PKL), Berthran Ugeh (Tendy LLC), Cem Hacioglu (West African LNG Group), David Pasquini (UK Gov’t Office SD), Erik Caldwell (City of San Diego), Blake Erickson (unaffiliated); Middle: Hilda Mwangi (WTC San Diego at time of picture), Brian Webber (IPS Group Inc), Kimberly Robling (PKL Services), Valerie Achieng (UCSD MBA Student), Mario Cugini (FoxFury); Bottom: Shakira Motan (South African Consulate Chicago), Betelehem Abera Haile (Ethiopian Consulate Los Angeles), Muktar Mohammed Ware (Ethiopian Consulate Los Angeles), Patience Onyegbule (Kaiser), Runa Tarannum (self employed consultant)
 
 
 
February 28, 2019

This week, WTC San Diego teamed up with Elaine Harwell, senior counsel at Procopio, to host a roundtable on a topic that has generated much confusion, interest, and anxiety over the past year – data privacy.

In May 2018, the European Union’s first-of-its-kind data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), went into effect. With limited case law to aid in its interpretation, companies and regulators alike have since scrambled to ensure compliance and avoid penalties such as the $57 million fine levied on Google by France’s top data privacy agency.

The GDPR also propelled data privacy laws in other parts of the world. Last June, Governor Brown signed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018, cementing into state law many of the general tenets from Europe’s GDPR. These include the right to know what personal information is being collected and with whom it is being shared, as well as the right to have personal information deleted from company databases. GDPR and CCPA share the objectives of increasing transparency, broadening existing definitions of data processing, and encouraging business behavior that prioritizes data security. At least 24 states in the U.S. now have laws that address the data security practices of private sector entities. This is a new reality, and for companies of any size, developing and maintaining a data privacy framework needs to be a priority.

For updates on upcoming workshops and events, you can subscribe to WTC San Diego’s newsletters or follow us on Twitter. If you are a company looking to grow your exports and international presence, also check out WTC San Diego’s flagship export assistance program – MetroConnect