Salt Lake City – Ben Stein, known for his economic lessons on and off-screen, will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 Utah Global Forum hosted by Gov. Gary R. Herbert. The event, which is a joint effort between World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah), the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Salt Lake Chamber, will take place on Nov. 8 at the Grand America Hotel.
“Trade is a compelling and evolving topic that is so important to Utah businesses and Utah’s economy. Who better to teach us than the iconic, and equally talented, Ben Stein,” said Miles Hansen, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “As a policymaker, and an award-winning economist and lawyer, Stein’s remarks will provide insight into international trade and what to expect in the future.”
As the state’s premier international business event, the Utah Global Forum facilitates the dialogue on how businesses can grow beyond local boundaries and develop an import and export strategy to expand into the global marketplace. The half-day program features networking opportunities, a pitch competition and breakout sessions discussing the inland port and how to succeed internationally. Throughout the program, attendees will hear from Gov. Herbert, Utah’s top international trading partners, industry experts and a panel of five local university and college presidents.
This year’s theme, “Utah – Crossroads of the World,” was chosen in anticipation of three major state projects: the opening of the new Salt Lake City International Airport, the expansion of Utah’s burgeoning tech sector and the groundbreaking of the Utah Global Trade Port.
“Utah’s economy is one of the best in the nation and our state has one of the fastest growing export economies. For this to continue, Utah companies must be equipped with the necessary skills to compete on the global business stage,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Any business looking to succeed in the global marketplace should without a doubt attend this event.”
With approximately 3,500 exporters in the state – 84 percent of which are small and medium-sized businesses – trade plays a large role in Utah’s economy. Statistics for 2018 show that, through July, Utah has exported $8.3 billion in goods across the world – a 13 percent increase over last year. If exports remain steady through the rest of the year, Utah’s exports could break $14 billion.
“Now more than ever, Utah is open for business. We have become one of the best places for business internationally,” said Val Hale, executive director of GOED. “Exports in Utah have doubled over the past decade, and that number continues to increase. The Utah Global Forum is an opportunity to learn from key leaders on ways to connect with the world’s customers.”
The forum, now in its fifth year, offers an incredible breadth of content, convening experts from across industry with the objective to help Utah businesses meet the challenges of today’s international business environment. Register here to attend the Utah Global Forum.