Join our International Hot Topic Series on Iran

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

View of Northern Tehran
Source: Flickr, User: Ninara

News in Islamic finance and Iran:

  1. 1st Iranian stock brokerage center in London opened last week, and
  1. UK Treasury plans to create a £200m Islamic bond by early next year

These topics and more will make for an interesting program on May 14th @ TDA.

For more info and to register, click here


Trade Alliance Participates at Successful Global Cities Initiative Forum

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The Mayors of Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma show their support at the Global Cities Initiative forum held at the University of Washington’s HUB

Last Thursday, the Trade Alliance was proud to join a coalition of business and government leaders to announce that the Central Puget Sound region has been selected to join the Global Cities Initiative’s new metro foreign direct investment pilot program.

The program, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, will create and implement plans to attract foreign direct investment to our region. “The Trade Alliance is excited to partner with other local economic development organizations and the Global Cities Initiative to create and implement a foreign direct investment strategy that will make us as successful in attracting productive foreign investment as we are at exporting,” said Sam Kaplan, president of the Trade Development Alliance.

The announcement was made at the University of Washington’s Husky Union Building by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who was joined by Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma and Mayor Ray Stephanson of Everett.


Delegation from Guangdong Province visits Benaroya Research Institute and Virginia Mason

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Back row, left to right: Ning Zhang, Director of Director of International Exchanges and Cooperation, Southern Medical University; Wenyuan Li, President of Nanfang Hospital; Yanhong Yu, President of Southern Medical University; Caifang Su, Deputy Director General of Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office; and Yali Wu, Section Chief of Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office. Front row, left to right: Richard Kozarek, MD; Michael Glenn, MD; and Homer Lane.

Benaroya Research Institute and Virginia Mason hosted a distinguished delegation from Guangdong Province on April 1st. The delegation was visiting following Governor Jay Inslee’s first visit to China last November, when he signed a MOU between Washington State and Guangdong Province. The agreement focuses on creating exchanges and cooperation in a variety of fields ranging from agriculture to clean energy.

President Yanhong Yu of Southern Medical University (3,600 medical students), President Wenyuan Li, MD, PhD, of Nanfang Hospital (2,225 beds; 10,000 outpatient visits/day), and directors from the Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office met with Benaroya and Virginia Mason executives to discuss possible areas of cooperation.

By 2020, China’s healthcare financing is set to triple, reaching $1 trillion annually. With government support, half of all Chinese hospitals are aggressively replacing their outdated medical equipment with high quality imports, and in 2013, Seattle start-up Kona Medical received a $10 million investment from Chinese venture capital firm Morningside Ventures. Guangdong is the richest province in China, and ranks as the 7th largest trading partner of the U.S., behind the UK and before South Korea. Guangdong is also home to Tencent, China’s largest and most popular Internet service portal, and BGI, one of the world’s leading genome sequencing centers.



Markets in Flux

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

TDA President Sam Kaplan (left) moderates a panel discussion on Markets in Flux at City University

The Trade Alliance organized a program last Thursday to discuss the situations in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Thailand and the effect on its economies. On hand were three panelists: Scott Radnitz, Director of the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington; former Ambassador to Thailand Darryl Jonhson; and Susana Gonzales-Murillo, VP of US Bank and Country Manager for Latin America.

The event, which was held at City University, drew over 40 attendees.


International Tourism Focus at TDA Board

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Visit Seattle, speaks to the TDA Board at the offices of K&L Gates

The Trade Alliance welcomed Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Visit Seattle, to its board meeting last Friday to get an update on international tourism and discuss its importance to our regional economy.

Norwalk presented a lot of interesting data, including that the top 5 high-growth markets for tourism in Seattle  include China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, and Taiwan. He was also able to break down how tourists from different countries spend their money in King County – for example, Chinese tourists use 69% of its total spending on retail but only 8% on restaurants, while Australians use 72% on cruise lines and only 6% on lodging. This kind of specific data can be useful for finding out how to reach these tourists and identify areas of spending that can be increased.

Visit Seattle has released a new video promoting the city for tourism – to take a look click here.


Trade Alliance & Seattle Chamber lead successful mission to Vietnam

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

The 2014 International Leadership Mission delegation poses with members of the YPO -WPO Vietnam

The Trade Alliance in partnership with the Seattle Metro Chamber organized a successful and productive leadership mission to Vietnam earlier this month. The 27-person delegation comprised of leaders from government, higher education, and business including Boeing and Microsoft. There were many trip highlights, including a speech from the CEO of Vietnam’s largest private company, FPT Corporation, visits to two industrial parks, a panel discussion with the Young President’s Organization (see above picture), and meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. The leadership mission also included a pre-trip to Japan and a visit to the Toyota factory to study lean.

A full trip report will be published in the next couple of weeks.


Welcoming medical delegation from Daejeon, Korea

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Miha Park, Daejeon Metropolitan City

The Trade Alliance discussed opportunities for cooperation with Mayor Hong-chul Yum of Daejeon Metropolitan City and his medical delegation. Mayor Yum and his delegation was in town to promote Daejeon’s medical sector and to establish partnerships. We were excited to learn about opportunities for Washington state companies, such as the 2014 Daejeon Food & Wine Festival and the 2014 Global Innovation Forum in Daejeon.


TDA welcomes Uzbekistan and Myanmar to Greater Seattle

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The Trade Alliance hosted a program with H.E. Bakhtiyar Gulyamov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the US yesterday. The Ambassador reviewed the needs of Uzbekistan and opportunities for US companies.

The Trade Alliance also supported a civil aviation modernization RTM from Myanmar yesterday, lead by the USTDA. The delegation was here to gain exposure to technology, services and equipment that can support efforts to modernize civil aviation development in Myanmar.


Trade Alliance hosts Roundtable Discussion on Germany

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Mr. Dietmar Rieg, President & CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce, speaks to the audience at the Trade Alliance offices

The Trade Alliance hosted a breakfast roundtable discussion at their offices last Wednesday to receive an update on Germany’s economy and learn more about its trade relationship with Washington State. Over 30 people attended the program which featured the CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Dietmar Rieg, as well as the Consul General of Germany in San Francisco, Mr. Peter Rothen.


TDA Celebrates at Seahawks Parade

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The crowd cheers outside of the Trade Alliance’s offices as the beginning of the Seahawks parade draws nearer

It was fun to be in downtown last Wednesday. With the Seahawk’s victory parade running alongside the Trade Alliance’s offices on 4th ave, staff felt remiss if not to celebrate with the rest of Seattle. Now if only we can get as huge a turnout for our Annual Dinner this June 25th!