From June 15th to 17th the first trade mission in Ourense, Spain, was organized by the Advanced Leadership Foundation in partnership with the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) and the regional government of Ourense (Diputacion de Ourense).
Certified by the United States Department of Commerce, the trade mission was led by U.S. Representative Loretta L. Sánchez, former U.S. Ambassador to Spain Alan D. Solomont, and the President of the Advanced Leadership Foundation, Juan Verde. The mission hosted 17 U.S. companies, representing 6 billion and almost 45000 workers, and 56 companies from Ourense.
Ourense is located in the Northwest of Spain and is a gateway to 56 million potential consumers and over 65 million tourists that visit Spain and Portugal every year. Alone in 2014, Ourense was home to 60,000 international trade operations, embodying a remarkable 14% increase from the previous year and thus, presenting business opportunities for American companies looking to expand internationally.
In total, the Advanced Leadership Foundation matched and coordinated 120 bilateral B2B meetings between the Spanish and American businesses. During these 20 minute meetings, they spoke of their services, and if there were similitudes or possibilities for partnerships, ALF organized further meetings. Thereafter, followed a ‘taster’ event named Saborea Ourense, in which 15 local companies presented their products for people to try. The American representatives were impressed by the quality and ingenuity of the products. In the evening, hosted by the Diputacion de Ourense, all representatives were invited to a gala dinner, and welcomed by Keith Silver, representative of the U.S. Commercial Service in Spain.
On the final day of the event, the American participants toured local companies’ establishments: vineyards and technological park Tecnopole. The culmination of the trade mission took place in the monastery of Santo Estevo. In which, U.S. Representative Loretta L. Sánchez closed the event with a memorable speech, promoting the new intercontinental relationships newly formed. The lunch encouraged a final chance for the companies to close agreements or maintain contact with their companies of interest.
The Advanced Leadership Foundation has worked closely with the United States Department of Commerce, as well as national, regional and local chambers of commerce to organize trade missions worldwide.