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SCITC Takes The Helm

The 36th Annual South Carolina International Trade Conference will offer business and education sessions, panel discussions, speakers and networking opportunities.

TW Special Report

T he South Carolina International Trade Conference (SCITC) began 35 years ago as a small gathering for the local Charleston, S.C., community of importers and exporters and the intermediaries that help them, such as brokers, freight forwarders, and the S.C. State Ports Authority. Over the last five or six years, the conference's all-volunteer board has  worked to expand SCITC, marketing it to the surrounding states with the goal of making it the premier trade conference in the Southeast. 

SCITC — one of the largest and oldest trade conferences in the United States — will present information on how to manage the challenges and opportunities of global trade.

The 2009 edition of SCITC - to be held in Charleston Tuesday, May 26, through Thursday, May 28, at Charleston Place Hotel - will gather more than 400 international logistics, transportation, manufacturing, distribution and trade assistance professionals to learn best practices and procedures related to today's international activities, as well as provide opportunities for participants and speakers to interface with one another.

Ron Reighter, vice president, global trade solutions, SunTrust Bank, has been on the conference board for about 10 years and is this year's general chairman. "Our goal is to provide programming that is so enticing to the importing and exporting community that they really have to be there," he said. "And then the bonuses are the networking and social activities that go along with it."

A new component added to this year's conference will be two educational sessions to be held Tuesday afternoon: "International Trade Resources," followed by "International Financial Resources." Session attendees will be awarded education certificates.

Business sessions scheduled on Wednesday include "The Latest In Compliance and Trade Agreements"; "Doing Business Anywhere, the Essential Guide to Going Global"; and "Outsourcing: Third-Party Logistics Providers" - a forum Reighter says will be of particular interest to those in the textile industry.

"A lot of textile companies are outsourcing to other countries right now," he said. "They look at their core competencies; if there's anything some other company can do better, faster and cheaper, they're partnering with those companies to help them - looking for buyers overseas; doing their exporting,  packaging, containerization - things like that."

Keynote speakers this year include Mike Veeck, author of "Fun is Good," and president and part-owner of six successful minor-league baseball teams; Charles Bierbauer, SCHotline.com commentator, consultant and senior contributing editor; and economist Dr. Donald Ratajczak.

For more information about SCITC, visit www.scitc.org.

March/April 2009