The 91st Annual World Trade Week (WTW) kickoff event took place at the Westin Bonaventure. This year, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, joined Los Angeles’ mayor, Eric Garcetti and more than 900 business executives and members of diplomatic corps.
The WTW event kicked off with Garcetti giving the welcoming remarks, discussing things like increasing regional employment through export, as well as celebrating Los Angeles as a global city.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair in conversation.
Mr. Blair spoke first about the institute which carries his name – the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change – is a non-profit organization dedicated to making globalization work for the many. His plan is to combine the best ideas from public and private policy sphere to generate answers to some of the biggest global challenges.
Guests were also treated to a presentation from Ersi president, Jack Dangermond. Ersi is the world’s leading company in geographic information systems. Dangermond discussed technology trends that are changing the government, business, and society.
Afterward, the Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award was given to Ambassador Vilma Martinez, President of the Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners, for her work with the Southern California world trade community. Borla Performance Industries, Cosmobeauti Lab and UltraGlas, Inc. were all given the Export Achievement Award for demonstrating success in exporting or in providing export services. The last award, Bob Kleist Leadership Award, was given to the Port of Los Angeles Trade Connect.
16 local High School and College students were also honored during the event and were given scholarships totaling nearly $10,000.