The below is a general summary of the events and discussion at the July 2019 OKGIT meeting. It does not represent the official minutes, which will be distributed at a later date.

OKGIT Executive Director Jared Scism talked about updates made to www.okgit.com to be more mobile-friendly, adding an upcoming events tab and dividing the members section by what position members are in terms of being a regular member, executive team member, ex-officio or an honorary consul. Jared also discussed his work updating the calendar every week, requesting that members contact the executive committee to see if they may need help with anything, email requests.

Jared Scism also discussed the financial report for Treasurer Randy Kellogg and informed members that all remaining members who had not paid their dues would be removed from the OKGIT roster.

Vice-Chair John VanPool encouraged members to check the website and update their bio, profile, or photo by emailing theokgit@gmail.com. He also encouraged everyone to send articles or press releases about organizations and/or members so we can share and show how diverse our group is on our website and social media pages.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner of the Oklahoma Department of Education was announced as the new chair of the Education and Cultural Committee. Dr. Skinner updated the OKGIT about the Ambassador program that the committee is currently working on.

Chair Douglas Price shared with everyone that arrangements for the International Recognition Day at the State Capitol are underway with Representative Mark McBride. We are currently trying to plan to host the event at the beginning of March.

Jon Neff has continued working on writing and highlighting the history of the OKGIT. Jon is continuing to look for people who are interested in helping in with this project. Those interested in helping may contact him at jonneff@bruneneff.com.

In membership news, Marc Nuttle and Mark Stansberry were approved to receive emeritus memberships due to their longtime service to the group and institutional knowledge. Additionally, Nyla Khan was approved for membership. Jared Scism also updated the group that Edie Roodman from Oklahoma Israel Exchange has stepped down from being a member of the OKGIT.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Duggar shared that the Parliamentary Vice Minister of Japan of land, transport, tourism and infrastructure will meet with senior state officials about the sister-state relationship between Kyoto, Japan and Oklahoma on July 25-26.

Meeting Program Chair Scott Thompson informed the group that the OKGIT has a program speaker for November, but is still looking for someone to speak at the September meeting. If you know anyone who might be a good fit, contact Scott at sthompson@mercervalve.net.

Jamie Cummings from the Department of Agriculture shared about a group from Taiwan they are meeting with to look at wheat industry opportunities, while an Indonesian group is set to meet with businesses in the state’s cotton production, beef and commodities industries.  The DOA has also applied for the STEP Grant which will explore incorporating Oklahoma Native American communities, private businesses and other mentors.  They also have a priority in helping those smaller businesses with their international trade.

Jesse Garcia from Department of Commerce talked about Mexico Trade Representative Luis Domenech making a business visit on October 6 with business companies within the Mexico market.  DOC will be exhibiting at Gastech Conference Sept. 17-19, Houston Texas.  DOC can provide information to companies that may be interested in attending the conference. Canadian Consul General Douglas George wants to possibly meet with OKGIT team members at the conference. Anyone who is planning to attend the conference, and interested in meeting Consul General Douglas George, let Jared Scism know by next Wednesday, July 31. DOC is also still waiting to hear the STEP grant details to help companies prepare for international exporting.

Dr. Cathleen Skinner shared the Department of Education will be having professional development days throughout cities in Oklahoma.  She also discussed the ongoing dual immersion program with Spain. The dual immersion program is a good experience for families and the schools that participate.

Marcus Verner from U.S. Department of Commerce shared that Luis Domenech will be making a business visit to Oklahoma Oct 7-11.  Disaster assistance for business owners affected by the recent storms that occurred during May and June, there is funding now available, those interested in learning more or who may have been impacted can reach out to Marcus through the theokgit@gmail.com address. USDOC will also be present at the Gastech Exhibition Conference will be on Sept 17-19, have a presence at the Discovering Global Markets Middle East and Africa conference on Sept 30 and have set the date for the Oklahoma World Trade Conference April 2, 2020 in Tulsa.

Dr. Jim Collard, chair for organizing the 2019 Oklahoma Consular Summit, said it is still to take place this fall. The group is still waiting on Governor Kevin Stitt to confirm the final date. We are currently planning to invite 12 countries and are still looking for two individuals or companies to sponsor a dinner for Italy and India respectively. If you are interested in sponsoring one of these two countries, contact Jared Scism at theokgit@gmail.com.

Douglas Price shared with everyone that the OKGIT would be going paperless and asked that all GIT members print and bring copies of items they might want to look at to the meeting.

Michael Rogers, the Oklahoma Secretary of State was one of our two speakers for the July meeting. During his speech, he spoke about Governor Stitt’s long-term thoughts about making Oklahoma more global and to look for more ways to bring industry back to Oklahoma. He also talked about the Governor Stitt’s recent visit to the Paris Air Show.

State Representative Melodye Blancett was our other speaker. Blancett is the Executive Director of Creative Oklahoma spoke to the OKGIT about the organization. She explained that their mission is to advance innovative and creative thinking in the areas of education, culture and commerce with the end goal of creating a more robust and prosperous state.

The next OKGIT meeting will take place on September 17 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Governor Kevin Stitt issued a gubernatorial citation to the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team for its role in organizing the 2019 International Student Recognition Day at the state capitol.

The OKGIT partnered with Representative Mark McBride to bring more than 40 students from around the globe who attend Oklahoma higher education institutions to see the state government at work. In addition to remarks by Governor Stitt and Representative McBride, students had the opportunity to hear from Secretary of Native American Affairs Lisa Billy about the distinct role that the state’s 39 tribal nations play.

International Student Recognition Day is one of many cultural, educational and diplomatic events that the OKGIT organizes each  year to grow the state’s international ties. The group consists of professionals in the private, public and non-profit sector interested in developing a more international Oklahoma. For more information email info@okgit.com.

Trade representatives from nine countries met with Oklahoma government and business leaders ahead of the 2019 World Trade Conference at the Oklahoma International Trade Representative Reception on April 2. The event, hosted and organized by the Oklahoma Governor International Team using funding from the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and CCK Strategies, brought more than 100 people to the Petroleum Club Oklahoma City to network and discuss opportunities to connect Oklahoma with international commerce and trade opportunities.

The nations attending included:

  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Belgium
  • South Korea
  • Guatemala
  • Taiwan
  • The United Kingdom
  • France

The OKGIT, OKBR and event sponsor CCK Strategies of Tulsa worked alongside the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team and staff from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Oklahoma Department of Commerce to make the event a success. It was a busy week for Oklahoma’s international ties, with the following day’s 2019 Oklahoma World Trade Conference taking place at MetroTech OKC concurrent with the International Student Recognition Day at the Oklahoma Capitol.

The deadline is closing soon, but if you’re an Oklahoma-based company in search of a stable market with solid partnership opportunities, look north to our largest trade partner.

StitchCrew is working with the government of Canada to identify 10 U.S. companies interested in exploring investment, trade or R&D opportunities with Canadian firms.

No sectors are ruled out, but there is a particular focus on firms interested in energy, aerospace or Native American Tribal-owned firms.

The deadline for applying is Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2019. Application link is here.

Reach out to Erika Lucas at StitchCrew for more information.

 

Oklahoma City played host to the 36th annual 20th & 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium on March 14-16, 2019, with organizing efforts from staff and students at three Oklahoma universities assisting in its production.

The University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma and University of Tulsa helped prepare and organize the event, which brought academics, Francophone artists and diplomats and other experts from around the globe to the state’s capital. An organizing committee of Dr. Pamela Genova (OU), Dr. Karl Pollin-Dubois (TU), Dr. Priya Wadhera (Adelphi University) and Oklahoma Governor’s International Team member Dr. Catherine Webster led the preparations.

This year’s event focused on “catastrophes, cataclysms, adaptation and survival.”

“The new century has brought with it what seems like an endless series of disasters, both manmade and natural, throughout the Francophone World. Acts of terror in Paris, including the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks, have shaken and moved us. Moreover, cataclysmic forces of nature and global weather catastrophes that include recent flooding in France, earthquakes in Haiti, and Hurricane Irma’s direct hit on Saint Martin, have affected millions of people …

“What is the nature of catastrophe? What can be considered cataclysmic — both literally and metaphorically? How do catastrophes, cataclysms, adaptation and survival translate in literature? What is a literature of survival?”

The OKGIT was one of the event’s sponsors, donating funds for proceedings in accordance with its mission of bringing together business people, members of government at the local, state and federal levels, educators from kindergarten all the way through to post graduate studies, and international, cultural and other non profit organizations.

 

 

Brexit is in the air, and information on the proceedings comes quick and fast. Ireland-based TPA Research issues a weekly brief on all things EU, and they have up-to-date information on what Oklahoma exporters and their EU-based partners need to know.

Check out their Monday morning Week Ahead here.

More highlights in their up-to-the-minute brief can be found below:

EU Intelligence: Brexit

12 March 2019

Key Dates

  • 12 March           ‘Meaningful vote’ scheduled
  • 13 March            Possible ‘no deal’ vote
  • 14 March            Possible Article 50 extension vote
  • 29 March            Currently scheduled Brexit day
  • 2 May                  UK Local Elections
  • 23 – 26 May      European Parliament Elections
  • First week July  New European Parliament sworn in – affecting legal status of any Art. 50 extension

Summary

While yesterday’s update does not provide the time limit to the backstop that Brexiteers demanded, in our view the concessions granted by the UK are not insignificant.  Ireland’s view of unilateral declarations to EU treaties is that they are meaningful – indeed this is the very mechanism by which the Irish government persuaded Irish citizens to approve the Lisbon Treaty by referendum at the second time of asking.  Furthermore, a strengthened referral mechanism to an arbitration panel to rule on issues pertaining to the Irish border makes for uncomfortable reading in Dublin.  The last time an arbitration panel ruled on the Irish border was in 1925 and resulted in a disastrous outcome for Dublin.

The position of the DUP, which will rely to a large extent on the legal advice offered by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, could be decisive.  Should the DUP oppose the deal, as Sammy Wilson’s initial reaction suggests they might, the deal is all but certain to fail.  In this scenario, Theresa May has committed to offering a vote on no-deal and an Article 50 extension on 13 and 14 March respectively.

Need more information? Read the full briefing by subscribing to TPA Research’s briefings and policy updates by emailing here.

As we prepare for another year’s events, the OKGIT wanted to look back and share a great video from our friends at the Consular General of South Korea, based out of Houston, Texas.

The United States Department of State will hold it’s ninth Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kansas City in mid-March and there are a few remaining open spots for entrepreneurs from America’s heartland. U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon and Secretary of State – and Kansas’ own – Mike Pompeo will give keynote addresses. Learn about opportunities for your American small business to connect with international partners, you don’t have to be on the coasts to capitalize on the global economy.

Take a look below for more information on that event or the June meeting in the Netherlands!

MARCH MEETING: The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), now in it’s 9th iteration, will be in the Netherlands in June and the “Road to GES” will be in Overland Park, Kansas March 18-19.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon will deliver keynote addresses at this event, which will celebrate the entrepreneurs and innovations of America’s heartland.  2.19.19 Notional Agenda.

Anyone interested in attending the March meeting in Overland Park Kansas should send an e-mail to RoadToGESHeartland@State.gov to receive an invitation to attend.

JUNE MEETING:  The GES Summit will take place in June in The Hague, the Netherlands, June 3-5, 2019.  .  The State Department is encouraging investment-ready entrepreneurs to apply at GES2019.org.  Participants don’t have to have raised significant funding already, but the idea is that they should have advanced beyond the idea stage, be ready to scale, and be operating in one of the  five focus sectors (Health, Ag/Food, Energy, Water, or Connectivity/Tech).   Apply to join by March 1 at GES2019.org.  At GES 2019, the State Department expects 2,000 participants, including 1,200 entrepreneurs, 400 investors, and 400 policy makers from over 120 countries.  The State Department expects business, government, and non-government leaders will bring billions of dollars of investment funding to the table in hopes of finding investment-ready entrepreneurs.

Some of Oklahoma’s best export markets and partners come from it’s agricultural sector. Supplementing those connections are vital agriculture education programs at many of the state’s institutions of higher learning, where future farmers, agriculture producers and scientific experts hone their skills.

According to a recent release from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center assisted an international company meet American compliance standards in the production of a South African beef jerky. The firm was not allowed to produce this South African staple until received USDA approval.

Researchers at OSU assisted Stormberg Foods, a family-owned South African company, with the validity process of producing biltong, a novel version of beef jerky.

The Kerr FAPC is part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, It provides technical and business information that stimulates and supports the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

Read the full release from FAPC’s Tori Lock here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Oklahoma’s export potential in the agriculture sector, or an international agriculture business interested in Oklahoma, please contact us at info@okgit.com and we will connect you with one of our members from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation is battling a nationwide problem with a global solution.

Loss of manufacturing has affected cities, states and tribal nations across the United States. Younger people are leaving their homes to look for better work or settling for jobs with lower wages. As a result, economies in those regions have lagged.

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the surrounding area are no different.

James Collard, the nation’s tribal economic development director, said the answer lies in expanding the potential client pool, which comes naturally to his community.

“Historically, many of the tribes, particularly Citizen Potawatomi Nation, have been traders for hundreds and hundreds of years,” he said. “The notion of trade is in the DNA, in a sense.”

That’s why the nation began working on Iron Horse, an industrial park that replaced a cornfield blanketing 400 acres off Interstate 40 and U.S. Highway 177. The area held more than productive soil. A Union Pacific railroad runs through the middle of it.

“It just seemed to make sense,” Collard said. “The railroad runs literally right through the park. We believe in freight rail, and it is coming back. These kinds of parks can serve as a main to bring the manufacturing back that has been lost.”

Collard said this project’s return on investment is significantly higher than that of retail and other development.

“It comes down to multipliers,” he said. “Different jobs have different values.”

Collard based this value on the ability each new job has to spur more new jobs. Four new retail positions are required to trigger demand for one more job, he said. Those numbers are reversed in manufacturing. A single manufacturing job will create four to five non-manufacturing jobs, he said.

Years before tribal officials began marketing the site, they had to determine its target market. Collard said it was a good time to fall back on the tribe’s roots. They considered the long-term implications.

“It might be a way to reconnect with that emphasis on trade,” he said.

The site received its foreign trade zone designation in 2014, allowing the tribe to market several duty breaks to foreign manufacturers. Companies using the site will see duty exemptions on imported raw materials and outgoing waste and other materials. They won’t face tariffs on goods they sell to the U.S. in both public and private sectors. Users would also see fewer regulations on storage time processes.

“The cost savings are enormous,” Collard said.

Matthew Weaver is the director of marketing and business development for Foreign Trade Zone 106. The organization covers 22 counties and acts as a liaison between organizations seeking the designation and the federal government.

He said Iron Horse has a magnet site designation. Instead of seeking the designation for one specific site for a specific use, the Citizen Potawatomie Nation sought the designation for a whole park.

Companies would still have to go through an activation process, but operating on a tract that is already designated simplifies that process. Companies don’t have to seek activation if they build in Iron Horse, but it’s available.

“That’s just something that’s available in Citizen Potawatomie Nation’s toolkit,” Weaver said. “It’s a value added that (the tribe) can say, ‘We’re serious about businesses located here, and we’re sophisticated enough to know this is a major incentive.’”

Kyle Dean is an economics professor and the director of the Center for Native American & Urban Studies at Oklahoma City University. He studies the economic impact tribes have on the state.

He said the Citizen Potawatomi park’s success could bleed into other parts of the state. As nearby cities such as Dallas and Oklahoma City grow toward each other, the surrounding area tends to benefit as well, and that could increase interest in Iron Horse.

“I have high hopes for this,” he said. “I think it’s going to be good for the metro.”

Originally posted on http://www.ironhorsecpn.com/cpn-seeks-trade-boost-iron-horse-industrial-park/.