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Local Leaders Push Global Trade

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Improving the region's economy by increasing international trade is part of a new focus by the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara and Erie County.

World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, in conjunction with the Erie County Executive, is now offering new initiatives for local companies interested in expanding business worldwide. Trade Center Executive director Holly Sinnott says they will offer a new, proactive approach when assisting trade members.

"We would be taking a look at major competitors," Sinnott explained. "We would also look at some of the growth markets for food and agricultural products, and examine what are the barriers to entry into particular foreign markets."

Erie County Executive Joel Giambra says the region needs to capitalize on cross border trade to strengthen the local economy. Thomas Kucharski, president of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, says world trade should be "an economic tool" for growth.

"It's very competitive out there and communities that are successful work together on international trade, economic develop and tourism," Kucharski said.

The World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara assists member companies in developing and executing international trade strategies. It has also embarked on a new mission to build "economic vitality through global trade." The U.S. Department of Commerce says New York exported goods to more than 200 foreign destinations. The highest percentage of goods exported to Buffalo's neighbor, Canada. Buffalo Niagara is one of the fastest export growth regions in the state.