Southeast Leaders Host N.C.’s International Reps
North Carolina is represented abroad by a team of marketing representatives stationed in leading foreign business capitals. In October, five of those officials visited Wilmington as part of a week-long tour of North Carolina organized by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). The all-day briefing was held on October 23rd at the Port of Wilmington. Included were Hyun-Sook Kim, Managing Director of the North Carolina Investment Office in Seoul, Korea; Nancy Ward, Managing Director of the North Carolina Investment Office in Toronto, Canada; Annabel Rong, Managing Director of the North Carolina Investment Office in Shanghai, China; Sumio Shibata, Managing Director of the North Carolina Investment Office in Tokyo, Japan; and Todd Brennan, Managing Director of North Carolina’s European Investment Office in Frankfurt, Germany. Rick Minor, Cary-based vice president for international business development at EDPNC, also attended.
“It was their last stop of a week-long tour of the state,” said Joe Melvin, director of business development for The Southeastern Partnership. Local and regional overviews focused on leading international companies in the region, industry cluster targets, and economic and workforce assets. Officials of the North Carolina Ports Authority briefed guests about the state’s port facilities before leading the group on a tour of the Port of Wilmington. “Most of the state’s international team had never actually seen the Wilmington port, which is North Carolina’s gateway to the global economy,” Melvin said.
While in the state, the managing directors traveled to other regions and appeared as panelists at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Economic Developers Association. Chris Chung, chief executive officer of EDPNC, said the week marked the first time the state had ever convened its foreign-direct investment (FDI) office directors in North Carolina at the same time. “The visit by our FDI directors was incredibly valuable in helping them better understand the unique business advantages of key regions across the state,” Chung said. “It was also important for our local and regional economic development partners to understand how our FDI directors are working to promote North Carolina for new inbound investment from major markets like Europe, Asia and Canada.” EDPNC, created in 2014 as the state’s lead marketing organization, oversees the international offices.