Phenomenal growth in emerging economies, particularly China and India, continues to attract huge interest in the US, according to business leaders gathered at the recent Gateway to International Trade conference in New York organised by Nexia International member firm J.H. Cohn LLP and Citibank’s Commercial Banking Group.
International trade remains the engine of economic recovery, with major challenges, but also huge opportunities, said John Ahern, Global Head of Trade at Citibank Global Transaction Services, in an address to the conference.
Ahern said that there remain major benefits in diversifying to growth markets, ease of finding new trading partners and globalisation of the supply chain. Global governments are increasingly recognising the need to support international trade, he argued.
In an open letter to the conference New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, praised attendees’ efforts to foster trade and strengthen ties between the U.S. and its trading partners.
Seth Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), outlined the Bloomberg administration’s commitment to supporting international trade in recognition of its importance to the US economy – including local measures such as an “innovation lab”, R&D tax breaks for the bioscience industry and an angel investment fund to support entrepreneurs.
More than 450 people, including business owners and executives, attended the conference, organised by Citibank; J.H. Cohn LLP, one of the top 15 accounting and consulting firms in the United States; and fellow members of Nexia International, the world’s tenth largest global provider of accounting, tax, and business advisory services.
The international trade conference gives U.S.-based businesses with plans to expand internationally, as well as foreign-based enterprises importing goods or services into the U.S., the opportunity to speak with international business experts from countries around the world.
“This is an unprecedented time for global business, and as international business and accounting standards continue to shift, it is paramount that corporate executives stay abreast of how they will be impacted, the opportunities that exist in a global economy, and the resources available to them to help them succeed,” said Chuck Ludmer, J.H. Cohn Principal and the firm’s Nexia International liaison.
“There was clearly great interest in doing business on a global basis among our guests and the event gives them an exceptional opportunity to network and share information with others involved in international trade,” said Roy W. Hoffman, CPA and International Services Partner at J.H. Cohn.
Delegates heard from advisers from Nexia member firms, including J.H. Cohn, and Citibank Commercial Bankers, as well as foreign trade consultants, about global expansion and the unique aspects of doing business in each country.
Attendees had the opportunity to attend sessions focusing on trade opportunities and business practices in countries including Brazil, Canada, Greater China and other Asia-Pacific countries, Eastern Europe, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Presentations from Asia-Pacific and India drew particularly strong interest.
Professionals from top U.S. trading partners and emerging markets around the globe gave briefings on trade and banking in their country as well as presentations on specialized international trade topics, such as international financial reporting standards, tax structures and banking solutions.
Gateway to International Trade was supported by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with World Trade Week NYC, as well as by the chambers of commerce of many of the countries represented at the event. The conference served as an unofficial kick-off to World Trade Week, for which Hoffman served as chairman for the fifth time.