The first World Trade Week was officially proclaimed by President Franklin Roosevelt as a week of national observance to recognize the importance of international commerce to our economy and way of life.
The arrival of World Trade Month is an opportune time to highlight the benefits of world trade to businesses big and small. "A bed and breakfast that thrives non foreign tourists, a local flower shop that imports Colombian roses and the neighborhood supermarket are just a few of the many examples of how trade impacts our lives in positive ways," said Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez in his 2008 World Trade Week Proclamation.
According to the U.S. Commerce department, today more than 70 percent of the world's purchasing power and 95 percent of its consumers are outside of the United States.
This presents enormous opportunity for Detroit-area businesses to expand internationally, as well as growing foreign businesses to build a presence in the Detroit Region. The Detroit Regional Economic Partnership works to create awareness about the benefits of doing business here to bring business to the region and facilitate business development into new markets.
Detroit's Consular Corps
The Consular Corps in Detroit consists of career and honorary consuls. Generally speaking, consular officers represent their country and promote their country's trade within their consular district, assist and protect nationals of the country they represent, explain their country's policies and achievements in fields such as culture and tourist attractions and administer oaths, legalize foreign documents and issue passports, visas and certificates.
Because of the nature of the Partnership, a natural collaboration has occurred with the Consular Corps in Detroit. "We work regularly with the consuls located in Detroit," said John Carroll, executive director of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership. "They frequently provide in-roads to businesses in their country."
Carroll continued, "Detroit is naturally a global player. The logistical advantages of the city, including its proximity to an international border, connection to the St. Lawrence Seaway and airport and highway infrastructure make it an easy location to sell."