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This week, the Upstate SC Alliance will be part of a South Carolina delegation to the world’s largest rubber and plastics trade show, K 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Occurring just once every three years, the last event drew 218,000 visitors and 3,200 exhibiters from 59 countries.

Japan’s footprint in the Upstate is worth pausing to consider.

South Carolina was named the #2 State for Doing Business in Area Development's Top States for Doing Business 2016 analysis, which is in its 30th year of economic development rankings based upon consultant surveys. 

Business in the Upstate has been globally influenced as far back as the 1700s, but now it’s more important than ever that global connection and competitiveness are top of mind.

As aerospace manufacturing moves South and our state works to recruit those companies, the Upstate’s existing bounty of manufacturing facilities and machine shops could become part of a hungry supply chain.*

The following opinion editorial by Upstate SC Alliance President & CEO John Lummus was published in the Sept. 5, 2016 edition of GSA Business Report

The recent announcement that Senator International in November will launch roundtrip cargo flights twice a week between GSP and Munich, Germany, heralds more opportunities than we can count at first glance.

General Electric, a 124-year-old company that employs 3,300 at its Greenville manufacturing facility, last year launched an ad campaign to position itself not as an industrial giant, but as a tech company.

This summer the Upstate SC Alliance joined a delegation visiting Belgium to explore how cultural connections can be leveraged into business relationships that enhance the Upstate’s global presence. 

The trip was organized by Greenville Sister Cities International in an effort to strengthen the bond between the sister cities of Kortrijk, Belgium and Greenville, South Carolina. The Upstate SC Alliance joined representatives from Upstate colleges, economic development organizations, government and business. The group met with Belgian business and economic development groups, government officials and agencies, and visited innovative sites. 

The visit was a strategic move to heighten global awareness and encourage region-to-region exchanges – both strategies encouraged by the Upstate SC Regional Export Plan, which launched in early 2015. To that end, we also capitalized on the chance to explore economic development opportunities in nearby Wallonia, the French-speaking region of southern Belgium. In both parts of Belgium, we opened doors for global engagement and identified similar characteristics around which relationships can grow, while observing models that can serve as examples for the Upstate.

There was already at least one strong connection: a host of a Rotary Club luncheon we attended was a Greenville native whose father had owned the iconic Duke Sandwich Company. Throughout the visit, we learned a great deal of detailed information, and have many follow-up conversations to pursue, and want to share some highlights: