Governor Patrick outlines global advantages Massachusetts must leverage

Trade summit at Brandeis attracts more than 300 business, academic and government leaders

Governor Deval Patrick outlined key advantages that Massachusetts must leverage to compete successfully in the global marketplace in a speech he delivered at Global Trade Summit 2011 on April 5 in Levin Ballroom.

"Our concentration of brainpower, research institutions and venture capital, our well-educated work force, our entrepreneurial traditions make us uniquely suited to appeal to the innovation industries of biotech and the life sciences, clean energy and information technology," Patrick said.

The one-day symposium was hosted by the Brandeis University International Business School and the Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership, which convened the summit to help local firms navigate the global economy. Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence welcomed Patrick and commended the governor for his vision and awareness of the role Massachusetts plays in the global economy. 

The conference brought together more than 300 leaders from Massachusetts businesses, academia and government agencies to address the opportunities and challenges of competing in emerging international markets.

[  Perspectives from Global Trade Summit 2011  ]

International Business School Dean Bruce R. Magid noted that the program reinforced trade and investment themes that were the focus of Patrick's recent trade mission to Israel and the United Kingdom.  Magid represented Brandeis as a delegate traveling with the governor during the mission.

"This summit was designed to help companies enter emerging markets, build partnerships in innovating economies and improve their position in mature markets," Magid explained.

James Taiclet, the summit's keynote speaker, was introduced by Arthur L. Goldstein, chair of the business school's board of overseers.  Taiclet is CEO and chairman of American Tower, a global provider of wireless and broadcast communication sites headquartered in Boston.  He recounted the firm's transformation from a modest local company to a global player with offices in Brazil, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. "Find what you can do the best in the world and then figure out the steps you need to take to get there," Taiclet implored his audience.

Over 30 experts provided regional expertise on key emerging markets and led workshops on doing business in Asia, South America and Europe. Other panels addressed overcoming specific functional challenges, such as how to build global trade operations, develop export financing and work with foreign suppliers.

A media roundtable prior to the start of the summit featured a panel of business delegates who traveled with the governor on the trade mission. All emphasized the value of increasing the state's visibility. They noted that 21 other state trade delegations had visited Israel previously, and said the mission was a critical first step which stimulated explorations of future joint business opportunities.

Phil Budden, Consul General to New England from the United Kingdom, observed: "I think we are going to see more British businesses wanting to come here."

Conference sponsors included Accenture and the Massachusetts International Trade Office.  AIM International Business Council, Massachusetts Export Center, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, SATA Airlines, Sovereign/Santander, the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, TD Bank, N.A., and U.S. Commercial Service also sponsored the event.

Wei-Huan Chen, Lyndsay Forrest and Penny Schwartz contributed to this report.

About the Perlmutter Institute

Established by Brandeis Trustee Louis ‘56 and Barbara Perlmutter, the Perlmutter Institute prepares students for leadership positions in global corporations in the United States and around the world.

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