The Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade - An Active Partner to Businesses and Investors

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The Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade is an active partner with the multitude of businesses and investors who work in this booming and sprawling Inland Southern California county, and the Office’s many programs this year illustrate the wide array of services and support exporters and investors receive.

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From grapefruits to garlic, Riverside County farmers have diverse and robust export businesses that send products to more than 50 countries around the globe including Canada, China and Ghana, among many others. Many of those farmers and the businesses that want to work with them gathered for a day of programs and exhibits on trade, technology and more earlier this year.

The Riverside County Economic Development Agency’s Office of Foreign Trade focused the Ag Expo on high-tech tools of the trade like drones and cutting-edge equipment in the picturesque Coachella Valley. The event drew hundreds of people from across the country eager to showcase their agriculture products and connect with the growers in the room.

Those growers remain strong in spite of the many challenges facing agriculturalists, with the total gross value of agricultural commodities topping $1.2 billion in 2017, according to the recently released annual report by the Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.


Trade Agreements

Riverside County businesses concerned about the effects of tariffs and trade negotiations on their businesses had an opportunity in August to share their thoughts with Bryan O’Byrne, chief of international affairs and trade policy at the U.S Small Business Administration.

Mr. O’Byrne listened as a farmer, a manufacturer and others shared their concerns about tariffs and the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations. Mr. O’Byrne is able to carry those perspectives back to the negotiating table. The event was hosted by the Office of Foreign Trade in Riverside.

The discussion provided the latest updates on trade policy topics and enabled businesses to provide direct feedback to a senior SBA representative on what would be beneficial to their business as they seek to start or grow their exports.

The roundtable was featured in an article in The Desert Sun:

The article noted the Commerce Department’s statistics on this region’s impressive export growth: “In 2016, goods from the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area had an export value of $10 billion, according to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Trade in the region grew 144 percent between 2006 and 2016. … Mexico, Canada, and China – in that order – rounded out the Riverside area’s top export markets.”
GoGlobal Export Accelerator Program
In an effort to work with Southern California businesses looking to begin exporting or expanding their exports, the Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade will host an exclusive one-day accelerator program September 12. The GoGlobal Export Accelerator Program will have guest speakers discussing different markets, innovation, business growth through E-commerce and cryptocurrency trade.

This exclusive event will help manufacturers, growers and others who are in need of guidance in the international market realm. With only 20 spots available, businesses will receive focused and highly skilled guidance on how to invest and export from experienced professionals. The event will be located at the Riverside County Business Center, from 8 am to 5 pm. Interested businesses must apply to attend:

SoCal Business Connect Summit
The Office of Foreign Trade’s annual and highly popular event known as the Procurement, Trade & Manufacturing Summit has been renamed the SoCal Business Connect Summit and scheduled for November 7 at the Riverside Convention Center. Last year’s summit drew attendees from across the state and beyond with more than 900 matchmaking appointments held with major buyers and vendors.

Multiple breakout sessions on everything from international trade to cybersecurity to procuring government contracts filled a jam-packed agenda. Anyone interested in attending, sponsoring or participating in the matchmaking can learn more here:

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Los Angeles Chamber Event

EDA Deputy Director Leslie Trainor, as well as Economic Development Manager Michelle DeArmond, represented Riverside County in a private briefing with 40 members of the L.A. Area Chamber’s Diplomatic and Commercial Officers Group.

Patricia Elliott, Consul & Senior Trade Commissioner with the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles, was the event’s emcee. Elliott (far right in the photograph) serves as vice chair of the L.A. Area Chamber’s Diplomatic and Commercial Officers Group.

Representatives from the Economic Development Offices of the counties of Ventura, Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside participated in this private briefing to discuss economic development by foreign investment and future trade opportunities. The Diplomatic and Commercial Officers group centers its work around infrastructure where members and trade offices are able to develop their own strategies and programs when it comes to trade.


Vietnamese Delegation from Ninh Binh Province visits Riverside County  

Riverside County Board Chairman Chuck Washington and Riverside County Executive Officer George Johnson joined the Office of Foreign Trade for a diplomatic roundtable discussion in June with a delegation from Ninh Binh Province in Vietnam. The delegation representing the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, as well as public and private entities in Ninh Binh Province, met with the Riverside County to discuss potential trade opportunities between our two governments. 

For more information about the Riverside County Office of Foreign Trade, we invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @GoRivcoOFT and on our Web site: