Secretary Walker at the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia

Every year, the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia hosts an awards celebration to recognize “World Trade Centers Day.” This event showcases the region’s global achievements and recognizes the contributions to economic growth and prosperity made by World Trade Centers around the world.
During the twelfth annual celebration, Secretary C. Alan Walker of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Development, was invited to highlight the state’s growing contributions to the global community and Philadelphia’s pivotal role.

Secretary Walker:
"Mayor Nutter, Linda Conlin, Tony, distinguished guests, thank you for inviting me to join you tonight.

I am amazed by the opportunities that we have in front of us. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate now stands at a five-year low of six percent, which is below the national average, and it’s going down for the right reasons.

Why? Governor Corbett is building a stronger Pennsylvania through investing in education and our workforce, and he is putting jobs first to make Pennsylvania a top location for business.

As a result, more and more companies are moving to Pennsylvania every day and we are growing on the international front.

Pennsylvania exports grew by 5.4 percent from $37.8 billion in 2012 to nearly $41 billion in 2013 and Pennsylvania was one of only three states that have a positive growth in Foreign Direct Investment over the previous year.

The Greater Philadelphia region is playing a key role in the overall transformation of Pennsylvania. And it’s fitting because after all, Philadelphia is the place where our great nation was born and today this region has evolved to become a beacon of world trade.

With new, major job creating projects like the FMC Tower, Urban Outfitters and the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center and international successes like Ecosave and Fibria Cellulose, Philadelphia is leading the resurgence of the Pennsylvania economy.

With regards to trade relations, in July, the governor joined federal, state and Chilean officials to inaugurate the Chilean Consulate of Greater Philadelphia, and to celebrate its recognition as an official trade office.

In December, working together, we were able to keep the Italian Consulate open here in Philadelphia near Independence Hall. Also in December, following a concerted team effort we learned that the Israeli consulate would remain open in Philadelphia.

Why is it so important for Pennsylvania to maintain these consulates in Philadelphia? It is important because we are indeed competing in the global economy. It is vital to our economy and important to position the commonwealth as a serious player in the global marketplace.

New economic investment and a growth in exports means that new jobs are being created that will help to put Pennsylvanians back to work. New sales generated from exports will help a home-grown Pennsylvania companies turn a profit and grow. As a result of new growth … new tax revenues will go to the state and local government coffers. That is what drives our economic engine forward.

Building a stronger Pennsylvania requires collaboration with our regional partners. What we do at the state level would not be possible without the efforts of our partners like the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia that are leading the charge to foster new international business opportunities.

On behalf of Governor Corbett, thank you for helping to build a stronger Pennsylvania and a Greater Philadelphia region that is truly a beacon of world trade.

I’m also here tonight to recognize an outstanding Pennsylvania company.

On behalf of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, it is my pleasure to present the 2014 Pennsylvania Member Company of the Year to Valtech Corporation of Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

This award is presented to a company who’s achieved tremendous global success working in concert with the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia. Valtech truly is deserving of this award. Exports have represented as much as 75 to 80 percent of Valtech’s overall sales which is remarkable.

As a Regional Export Network partner the World Trade Center is an incredible asset for companies like Valtech helping the global specialty chemical company to connect with Pennsylvania’s network of 22 overseas offices covering 73 countries.

This includes providing market intelligence, trade missions, identifying distributors and overseas offices in markets such as Brazil, China, the Philippines, Germany and the U.K., among others. "