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The most important economic development events you probably never heard of

By LVEDC Staff on February 4, 2014

northfolksouthernWhile the Lehigh Valley continues to suffer with the worst winter in recent memory, LVEDC’s Jarrett Witt is proof of the adage that when the winter gets tough, the tough heads south.

Mind you, the vice president of economic development isn’t going to Bronson Forest, S.C. on a vacation or to work on his tan, but rather to take part in a crucial industrial development forum with some of the top economic development professionals from the United States.

Witt is attending Norfolk Southern’s Annual Industrial Development Forum starting today through Friday. The invite-only event attracts economic development professionals, site consultants, industry representatives and Norfolk Southern’s customers and executives for discussions on a variety of topics related to future economic development projects.

Conferences such as these provide important information, contacts and opportunities to attract projects and companies to the Lehigh Valley. LVEDC continues to pitch the merits of the region to recruit companies and jobs to the region throughout the year in various conferences, trades shows and forums throughout the year.

On April 26th The Industrial Asset Management Council will hold their spring forum in Pinehurst, N.C. The IAMC is the leading association of industrial asset management and corporate real estate executives, their service providers and economic developers. During the four-day event, LVEDC will partner with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development on the presentation entitled “Arrive in Style,” which provides rides for VIP attendees from the Raleigh-Durham Airport to the event. By hosting these rides, it provides LVEDC with valuable exclusive time with targeted IAMC individuals.

The month of May brings with it warmer weather and the Port of New York/New Jersey’s Lehigh Valley event. While the date hasn’t been settled upon, the agenda most certainly is. The event will provide an update on the Bethlehem “inland” port initiative, along with sharing statistics, trends and the latest improvements in operations and port services. The Port of New York/New Jersey is the largest seaport on the East Coast and the third largest in the United States. It accounts for 41 percent of Pennsylvania imports, which is four times larger than the Ports of Philadelphia/Chester combined.

In June, the Industrial Real Estate Conference will be held in Jersey City, N.J. This high-profile conference held annually and alternating from East to West locales, will attract industrial commercial real estate leaders from across North America to focus on the most current trends, data, and business strategies impacting the industrial sector. The Lehigh Valley, after a daunting and competitive Request for Proposals process, was one of two communities (with Norfolk, Va. being the other) selected to be a feature session on emerging markets. Don Cunningham, LVEDC president and CEO, and Russell held of the Norfolk Port Authority will be the presenters.

And the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investments 2014 is coming to Philadelphia later that month. This important forum attracts attendees from across the planet to discuss foreign direct investment from the point of view of investing companies. Hosted in a spectrum of world locations since 2003 and for the first time in the United States, this prestigious FDI meeting provides a valuable platform to network and discuss global location decisions amongst FDI dealmakers. Those dealmakers include globally-expanding companies, economic and investment agencies and the multipliers and site selectors who advise both parties.

LVEDC is currently reviewing additional conferences and seminars throughout 2014 to potentially attend.

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