Proclamation from President Obama presented
By the US Department of Commerce

PORT OF HUENEME — The Port of Hueneme and its strategic economic development partners at California Lutheran University, the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC-VC), District Export Council of Southern California, the Center for International Trade Development and the Valley International Trade Association (VITA), celebrated World Trade Week today at the Port. As a World Trade Center licensee, the Port in concert with our strong team of stakeholders hosted 70 attendees as part of its overall theme to advance the businesses of Ventura County and expand our business community’s reach to the global market place.

Port Commission President, Jess Herrera, commented that, “In this more global economy our prosperity will be dependent on the well-being of not only our economy but that of our trading partners.”

Specifically today’s program revolved around the President’s “Look South Initiative.” The Port received a Proclamation from the Obama Administration presented by Richard Swanson, Regional Director for the Pacific South, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Richard Swanson with the U.S. Department of Commerce, said ”On behalf of the United States Department of Commerce and Secretary Penny Pritzker we would like to honor the local trade community and the Port of Hueneme for their efforts in promoting trade and investment with the U.S. and helping further the President’s ‘Look South’ initiative . The President of the United States proclaims that May 17 through the 23rd, shall be World Trade Week and we feel there is no better reflection of World Trade Week than here today at the Port Wednesday May 20th.” Mr. Swanson also recognized Hardy Diagnostics of Santa Maria with the Export Achievement Award certificate for their work in manufacturing and exporting medical devices to over 80 nations worldwide.

The Port also took the opportunity to report out on its recent contacts with Mexican ports along the west coast focusing on the coastal or short sea shipping opportunities. President of the Board Jess Herrera announced a planned Sister Port Agreement with the Port of Ensenada, Mexico.

Mexico’s Deputy Trade & Investment Commissioner Ignacio Sanchez made a presentation for the event focusing on the Country’s five main investment initiatives, namely Aerospace, Medical Devices, Electronics, Automobiles and Auto parts and Energy. Said Trade Commissioner Sanchez, “We look forward to working with the Port to develop closer ties with the Mexican port system”.

Ecuador’s Consul General Diego Jaramillo also made a presentation commenting on the steady growth of trade with the U.S. and remarking that “key to trade growth is more private sector investments and events such as this, help develop more opportunities for our local businesses both big and small, to work with U.S. companies in growing both our economies.”

Ms. Decas also highlighted the collaboration between the Port, the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC-VC) and California Lutheran University (CLU) saying, “Today we celebrate World Trade Week but in fact every day is World Trade Day.” And Cal Lutheran Economics professor Kirk Lesh opined,”The more open and free our markets the better for everybody’s economic development.” Additional updates were delivered by Port customers Chiquita and Del Monte, who spoke to the importance of international business specific to their operations.

Ventura County is home to 950 manufacturing firms generating nearly 30,000 jobs, paying the fourth highest wages in the nation. Our County’s higher density of manufacturing puts us in the top 10% of the largest 100 urban areas in the nation. Driven by its strong connections to the global economy, Ventura County continues to excel in key industries such as manufacturing, finance and agriculture.

Bruce Stenslie, Executive Director of the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County, commented, “We are also a leader in the high paying finance industry, benefiting from the 2nd highest concentration of jobs among all California counties. Demonstrating the diversity of our industry base, Ventura County is a leading agricultural producer, generating over $2 billion to the local economy annually.”

“We have made so much progress, yet have much more work ahead of us. With only 4% of the County’s firms in the export business, events like this are so important to augmenting our footprint in the global marketplace. Stakeholder engagement and promotion of our role with the World Trade Center promises to serve as a catalyst to leverage significant opportunities for our region and help our business take greater advantage of international trade,” said Kristin Decas, CEO and Port Director.

The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. The Port is governed by 5 locally elected Port Commissioners. The Port moves $8 billion in goods each year and consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for autos and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $1 billion in economic activity and creating 10,226 trade-related jobs. Trade through The Port generates more than $69 million in annual state and local taxes which funds vital community services.

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