Events

Governor Rendell Honored for Expanding Commonwealth’s Global Presence

In recognition of the success of his administration’s efforts to increase foreign investments in the commonwealth and help Pennsylvania companies do more business overseas, Governor Edward G. Rendell was honored today by a leading transatlantic business network that represents hundreds of companies and individuals.

The British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia presented the Governor with its fifth “Building a Better Future” award, which is given to a member of the community who makes significant contributions to promoting business development within the state, country and across the Atlantic.

Past recipients of the honor have included Jean-Pierre Garnier, former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline; and HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York.

“I’m proud to receive this award, and I’m excited that the successes of Pennsylvania’s international business development efforts and the World Trade PA initiative are being recognized,” said Governor Rendell. “For example, in 2008, Pennsylvania businesses exported more than $34 billion worth of goods. That’s 18 percent more than in 2007 and more than double the total from just five years ago.”

Governor Rendell launched World Trade PA in 2006 to boost the commonwealth’s impact in the global market. Since the start of that initiative, which is overseen by the Department of Community and Economic Development’s Office of International Business Development, nearly 60 foreign investment projects have been completed in Pennsylvania, resulting in the creation of more than 4,000 jobs and a total capital investment of more than $470 million.

Speaking at the British American Business Council luncheon, the Governor noted that the business relationship between Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom has seen a measurable impact since the inception of World Trade PA. Since 2006, Pennsylvania’s exports to the UK have increased by 22 percent to $1.4 billion. During that period, there have been 13 investment projects in Pennsylvania from the UK, with a total capital investment of $188 million and the creation and retention of more than 3,800 jobs.

“The British American Business Council’s goal is to increase transatlantic business development, and Governor Rendell’s efforts in that area have been extraordinarily successful,” said Sheryl Rothberg, executive director of the British American Business Council. “For that reason, we’re proud to present him with our ‘Building a Better Future’ award.”

The commonwealth also implemented the “Go Global” program to provide grant funding to organizations that teach how to promote Pennsylvania exports and penetrate foreign markets, and created the Global Alumni Network to use the resources of Pennsylvania’s foreign-based alumni to show international companies the benefits of doing business in the commonwealth.

Last year, DCED’s Office of International Business Development directly assisted more than 1,200 companies through its 24 overseas trade representatives. In addition, the Office’s Center for Trade Development organized and led 17 trade delegations to 13 foreign markets, awarded more than 300 market access grants totaling $880,000 to 170 of the commonwealth’s exporters, and facilitated $342 million in export sales for 268 Pennsylvania companies.

The British American Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, serves to promote increased trade and investment between the UK and Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. The council facilitates social and commercial interaction for the benefit of the individual, the corporation and the region in which it operates.

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