Published 05/17/13

28th annual World Trade Day May 22 explores international business opportunities

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – More than 500 business, government, and academic leaders will convene at Bryant University on May 22, 2013, to explore ways in which New England organizations can expand globally as they win back business and position from overseas. At Bryant’s John H. Chafee Center for International Business 28 th Annual World Trade Day, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Emmy-nominated CBS News Senior Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger, a former chief investment officer of Providence, R.I.-based Strategic Point Investment, will be among the keynote speakers.

The event includes 15 different breakout sessions designed to address varied levels of exporting expertise

Other speakers will include Cumberland, R.I.-based textile solutions provider Hope Global President and CEO Cheryl Merchant; Cranston, R.I.-based Alex and Ani lifestyle brand CEO Giovanni Feroce; John Hazen White, Jr., president of Cranston-based hydronic systems provider Taco, Inc.; and Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley.

According to Raymond Fogarty, director of the Chafee Center, exports have a crucial impact on both regional and national economic growth. Citing the U.S. Department of Commerce, Fogarty noted that 48 percent of all U.S. economic growth in 2012 was attributed to exports. World Trade Day presents an ideal opportunity for attendees to learn more about international business from over 60 different professionals who will help them with their own international expansion. 

The day-long agenda will include 15 different breakout sessions designed to address varied levels of exporting expertise, from how to set up an export team and utilize trade missions and tradeshows, to marketing overseas and leveraging the benefits of free trade agreements. Nearly 50 manufacturers, service providers and trade organizations will also be exhibiting at the event and offering their services to participants.

“There has never been a more important time for the corporate community to expand its business horizons overseas. Strong organizations today must be growing internationally, as well as in their local markets, and Bryant provides the strategic resources needed for global initiatives,” said President Machtley.  “Our conference experts will share the knowledge and skills businesses can use to expand into new markets, including China.”

Named after the late R.I. Sen. John H. Chafee, a longtime advocate of international trade, Bryant University’s John H. Chafee Center of International Business serves the regional business community and offers hands on opportunities for Bryant students to develop a global perspective and learn about international business. The Chafee Center houses the World Trade Center and Export Assistance Center for the state of Rhode Island.

Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. Recognizing its 150 th anniversary in 2013, Bryant University has approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students from 27 states and 54 countries. Bryant University regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, Forbes and Barron’s.