June 2021 Updates
As World Trade Center Delaware, like other businesses, defines what normal operations will be, it seems to be a good time to look at the effect of COVID-19 on international trade and try to predict what the future will bring.

There were some significant differences between the decrease in global trade caused by the pandemic and previous economic downturns. While imports usually drop during recessions resulting in a decreased trade deficit gap, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, during the COVID 19 pandemic, the deficit actually increased about 20%. Imports decreased by 17% and exports fell by 25% resulting in a US trade deficit of $8.65 billion. The difference between the pandemic and previous downturns was that US imports of critical medical goods increased dramatically and accounted for 41.3 % of the climb in the U.S. trade deficit. [1]

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that 2020 brought a “deep dive” in the global economy. About 255 million full time equivalent jobs were lost during the pandemic with women bearing the brunt of the job losses, regardless of where they lived or their income. [2] Tourism and travel, of whom 54% are female employees, is one of the reasons why so many women were unemployed. The third quarter of 2020 brought good news to the international business sector as merchandise and services trade began to recover, although not in time for tourism and travel, as arrivals were down 74%, 100 to 120 million jobs were lost, and exports were down by $1.3 trillion, globally.[3] Now, however, airline and hotel bookings point to a recovering tourism market, the world’s Number 3 export.  

Jennifer Boes, Executive Director of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau said “While corporate travel, meetings and conventions are still lagging in Northern Delaware, there are sure signs that tourism is rebounding. A number of our hotels are reporting they have been at or near capacity on the weekends as leisure travelers book weekend getaways and attend social gatherings like weddings and family reunions. People are eager to travel, but a good percentage are still not quite comfortable enough to get on an airplane. New Castle county offers all of the arts, culture, history, and outdoor fun you’d find in a top tier tourism destination but much closer to home.

Our region is also home to lots of green space and beautiful gardens. This is another major draw because outdoor activities are at the top of many travel to-do lists. Big attractors are the du Pont estates including Hagley, Winterthur, Nemours Estate, and Mt. Cuba Center. There are also hidden gems like the Brandywine Zoo, Rockwood Estate and Fort DuPont State Park. Another big draw is our thriving Wilmington Riverfront.”  To Jen’s assessment, I would add the Delaware Beaches, Washington’s Summer Capital.

Another sector hit by the pandemic was Foreign Direct Investment, declining 42% worldwide, with the US ( -49%) and the EU-27 experiencing the steepest drops (-71%).[4] However, Delaware, with its strong capabilities in science and technology, logistics and manufacturing, agriculture and food processing, and financial services, including Fintech, remains attractive to international companies wanting to locate in the United States. This is confirmed by the announcement this week that STA Pharmaceutical, a Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), a subsidiary of the Chinese pharmaceutical giant WuXi App Tec, plans a new manufacturing facility in Middletown.
As we finally approach a post-pandemic world and look back to see how we were affected by the challenges and changes to international trade, global business and world communications—both bad and good—we realize how fortunate we are here in the First State to be able to continue to build upon a solid, steady foundation as the corporate capital of the world and travel destination with our Port of Wilmington, growing Fintech and STEM climate, colleges and universities and most of all with our diverse, innovative and experienced workforce. 
Carla Sydney Stone
[1] Leibovici, Fernando and Santacreu, Ana Maria, “The Dynamics of the U.S. Trade Deficit During COVID-19: The Role of Essential Medical Goods”, Economic Synopses, 2020, Number 41, https://doi.org/10.20955/es.2020.41, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, retrieved June 21, 2021

[2] United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trade and Development, https://unctad.org/programme/covid-19-response/impact-on-trade-and-development-2021, March 31, 2021, retrieved June 21, 2021.

[3] UN World Trade Organization, 2020 A Year in Review, https://www.unwto.org/covid-19-and-tourism-2020, retrieved Jun 21, 2021.

[4] United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, “Global Foreign Direct Investment Fell By 42% in 2020, Outlook Remains Weak”, https://unctad.org/news/global-foreign-direct-investment-fell-42-2020-outlook-remains-weak#:~:text=Global%20foreign%20direct%20investment%20%28FDI%29%20collapsed%20in%202020%2C,trough%20that%20followed%20the%202008-2009%20global%20financial%20crisis., January 24, 2021, Retrieved June 22, 2021
WTCDE Premier Members
Port to Port International Corporation
Learn more about Port to Port International: http://www.ptpshipping.com/?lang=en
STAT International
Welcome to the New World!

Now that we are allowed to be in public again, are you ready to take your business to the next level? Have you made several changes in business practices due to the pandemic and now are ready to have a public life again? We at STAT International can help! We offer many nontraditional business strategies to help you and your business thrive! Need a professional address, we do that! Need an office for the day, we do that! Need a conference room for an hour, we do that! We are a traditional business here in Wilmington, Delaware to help your new business thrive in the professional world. If you are ready to take that next step, let STAT International help you become the successful business owner you envision!!
Learn more about STAT International: https://stat.international/
Delaware Business Times
Learn more about Delaware Business Times: https://delawarebusinesstimes.com/
Welcome to Our New Member
Hx Innovations, Inc.
Nicole Homer, MBA
Co-Founder & Director of Operations
Von Homer
Co-Founder Chief Scientist
New Castle, Delaware, June 2021—World Trade Center Delaware is pleased to welcome new member Hx Innovations, Inc., a neuro-ergonomics and biomechanics footwear research and technology company, and to congratulate them on recently winning the Delaware Prosperity Partnership Startup 302 Award.

Founded in 2019 by Von and Nicole Homer, Hx Innovations of Middletown won the Delaware Innovator Award and the Automation and Insights Prize and in addition to $60,000 in funding, won a year’s membership to the World Trade Center Delaware. The company provides cutting edge software and scientifically and clinically proven solutions to help footwear companies like Sketchers, Adidas and Timberland create superior products focused on comfort, fit and endurance.

While most testing labs rely solely on biomechanics and the standard industry testing data, Hx Innovations goes a step further with the patent pending “Homer Technique TM” which utilizes neuroscience, biomechanics, and machine learning to evaluate neuromuscular performance and fatigue within footwear, calculate risk of injury, and certify ergonomic safety of footwear for active lifestyles. Data and results are provided to footwear manufacturing companies to help them develop safe and optimal performance shoes and boots.

Hx Innovations indirectly operates on a global scale and, according to Director of Operations and MBA Nicole Homer, is looking to leverage its membership in World Trade Center Delaware to expand into India, Europe, Canada and to take advantage of its networking and funding opportunities and programs like the upcoming July 1st Israel-US BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation virtual workshop.

“We are eager to team up and collaborate with other research and testing partners and resources and not only to position ourselves to grow globally as a new standard for footwear testing, but to apply our technology to other formats and fields which may be outside of footwear in the future,” Homer said. “We plan to explore as many strategic partnerships and alliances as possible and are excited about all of the opportunities World Trade Center Delaware offers.”

For more information visit Hx Innovations, Inc. at https://www.hxinnovationsinc.com/
Thanks to Our Renewing Member
Arkion® Life Sciences 
Thank you to Arkion Life Sciences for Renewing Its Membership

World Trade Center Delaware is pleased to announce that Arkion® Life Sciences of New Castle, Delaware has renewed its membership.

Arkion® Life Sciences is a global technology-based company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets environmentally friendly products and technology that provides modern solutions to today’s problems.

From its beginning in 2001 as a DuPont and ConAgra startup company, Arkion has combined the best attributes of the two and in the process has developed several breakthrough products for agriculture crop protection, safe control of birds, pest control for organic crops and orchards, natural mosquito and tick control products and much more.
Arkion’s growth from a consortium startup company to a leader in the field of biotechnology is exemplary of what happens when a company gives individual people the opportunity to grow and cultivate their ideas. Dr. Earnest Porta, President and CEO, said membership in World Trade Center Delaware has benefitted Arkion in many ways.

“Our membership in WTC Delaware has helped Arkion develop an export market for our agricultural crop protection product in Africa including South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya,” Dr. Porta said. “We have used WTC Delaware recommended consultants to identify companies and law firms and have hired a sales representative they recommended. We look forward to a continuing relationship.”

For more information visit https://www.arkionls.com/
World Trade Center Delaware Gala


Hotel DuPont / Gold Ballroom


Secretary of State 
Choir School of Delaware to Perform at Gala
We are so pleased to announce that the young singers of the Choir School of Delaware will perform at our Gala on December 9th. Founded in 1883 upon the opening of the Cathedral Church of St. John’s at Concord and Market Streets in the Brandywine Village of Wilmington, the Choir School is one of Delaware’s oldest arts institutions. With roots in music for the church, The Choir School has expanded to include students ages 7 – 17 in the greater Wilmington, Delaware area with a focus on professional musical training, leadership and language skills, academic support, and college-bound mentoring. The Choir School is recognized as the best after school program in the nation with the Coming Up Taller award presented by Laura Bush at the White House. It has toured England, singing at Exeter Cathedral, Truro Cathedral and Buckfast Abbey and in the US in venues such as the historic Trinity Church New York, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The choir sings some of the most challenging repertoire, ranging from Bach to the contemporary, sacred to folk, a cappella, to orchestra accompaniment.  

We are in for a real treat!
WTC Delaware Welcomes State Representative Mike Ramone to Board of Directors 
New Castle, Delaware, June 2021—World Trade Center Delaware is pleased to welcome Representative Mike Ramone from the State House of Representatives as its newest Board of Directors member.

"As a lifelong Delawarean and a small business owner for nearly forty years, I understand the value of business—locally, nationally, and internationally,” State Representative Mike Ramone stated. “I look forward to bringing real life experiences, as well as my passion to help those with that entrepreneurial spirit, to the Board of the WTC. Empowering and motivating business owners to serve their customers in the best ways possible are strengths I enjoy sharing. I am thankful and excited for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful organization.”

Mike Ramone was first elected to the House in 2008. A lifelong Delaware resident, Mike graduated from St Mark’s High School and attended the University of Delaware. In 1982, at age 21, he opened his first business, Ramone’s Flower Shoppes. Mike – a true entrepreneur – founded, owned, and operated multiple local businesses with his wife of 38 years, Lisa. They currently own six successful businesses and employ over 200 individuals throughout the year. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.

For 40 years, Mike has taught swimming and coached at various community clubs and nonprofit organizations, as well as at public and private high schools throughout New Castle County. He also has a passion for, and a commitment to, many nonprofit communities and organizations including local fire companies, the Boy Scouts of America, Special Olympics, Yes U Can Foundation, the Police Athletic Leagues, Easter Seals, Faithful Friends, and the Make-a-Splash Foundation Delaware, just to name a few. He served as treasurer for Delaware Chemo-Care Foundation and is Past President of the Hockessin-Greenville Rotary Club.

In Dover, as the 21st District State Representative, Mike is a member of the Joint Bond Bill Committee, which makes decisions annually on the state’s capital improvement and transportation spending. His other committee assignments include Economic Development, Banking, Insurance & Commerce; Revenue & Finance; Education; Housing & Community Affairs; and Veterans Affairs. These assignments provide Mike with the knowledge and vast understanding of every part of state government.

Mike also previously served on a special committee assigned by Governor Carney—the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board—which was charged with identifying opportunities for cost savings in state government. In addition, Mike served on the Governor's Mentoring Council for Children and Youth and the Governor's Council on Health, Promotion and Disease Prevention. He is co-chair of the House Small Business Caucus and past co-chair of the Kids Caucus in the House.
Indonesian Consulate General Meets the World Trade Center Delaware
New Castle, DE, June 16, 2021— The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York, Dr. Arifi Saiman, Economic Consul Mr. Rizal Wirakara, Vice Consul Mr. Wahyu Perdana and Ms. Rissa Asnan (Indonesian Diaspora/Delaware Creative Industries entrepreneur) met with the WTC Delaware staff on June 16 to discuss the possibility of expanding trade between Delaware and Indonesia. 

We at the WTC Delaware look forward to their next visit in two weeks as well as the visit of the Minister of Investment later in July.
WTC Delaware to Co-Host BIRD Foundation Virtual Lunch & Learn on U.S.- Israel Joint Project Funding Opportunities
Accelerating R&D with Go-to-Market Strategy
Winning up to a $1 million or up to $1.5 million for exceptional proposals!
New Castle, DE, 2021—World Trade Center Delaware is co-hosting a virtual BIRD Foundation “Lunch & Learn” event at noon July 1 for U.S. companies in our region to learn about funding opportunities for joint collaborations with Israel.
Annually, the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approves 20-25 grants of up to a $1 million each (with the potential for up to $1.5 million for exceptional proposals) for the co-development of innovative products, technologies or milestone-based pharma projects. BIRD takes no IP or equity.
“We are excited to be able to provide this rare opportunity to our members and encourage all of them seeking to engage in partnering or potential business in Israel to attend,” said World Trade Center Delaware President Carla Stone.
The virtual event is co-hosted by the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, the representative of the US-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey, the World Trade Center Delaware and the Delaware BioScience Association.
BIRD’s scope extends to Advanced Manufacturing, Agrotechnology, Cleantech and Environment, Communications, Construction Tech, Electronics, FinTech, Gas, Healthcare IT, Homeland Security and Cyber Security, Life Sciences and Bio-Convergence, Software, Water and Wastewater technologies, etc. and other technology sectors.
The program will feature Andrea Yonah, Director of Business Development, East Coast & Midwest, BIRD Foundation, Vered Nohi, Executive Director, Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Representative for PA, DE and SNJ, BIRD Foundation, Carla Stone, Michael Fleming, President, Delaware BioScience Association. A Delaware based BIRD project case study will also be presented by Eric B. Kmiec, Ph.D., Director, Gene Editing Institute of Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. The Institute was awarded a $900,000 BIRD grant with Israeli biotechnology company Fore Biotherapeutics, formally known as NovellusDx; the companies co-developed new gene editing technologies that help identify the genetic mechanism responsible for both the onset and progression of many types of cancer. A question-and-answer session will follow.
The virtual event is being held noon-1 pm on Thursday, July 1 and is free of charge. Attendees must register in advance to receive the meeting link. REGISTER HERE!
United Cocoa Processor Expanding Operations
United Cocoa Processor in the Pencader Corporate Center is looking to expand operations to serve a new client. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING
Our member United Cocoa Processor (UCP), a cocoa processing plant that helps us host our famous “Beer and Chocolate Tasting” event each year, will be expanding its operations and completing renovations to its Newark facility this summer.

The expansion is being made to maximize the return found in a single bean in the chocolate manufacturing market and create a second roasting line which will enable it to roast 211,000 pounds of cocoa beans and nibs per day and further serve new and existing international and domestic clients looking to buy products like cocoa liquor, butter and powders.

UCP manufactures cocoa nibs, cocoa mass, butter and powders for bakeries, confectioneries, packaged food and ingredient distributors. Clients range from large multinational companies to single stores. The company was relocated in 1992 from Brazil to Delaware due to the state’s business-friendly climate and close proximity to Philadelphia, considered to be the epicenter of the cocoa industry in North America.

The company is led by President Jonathan Liu who took over the family business in 2006. UCP used to import most of its beans from Brazil but after joining World Trade Center Delaware, UCP started expanding globally and now chooses beans from all over the world to best fit their clients flavor profiles.

Equipment included in the expansion will clean the incoming cocoa bean and remove its shell to expose the cocoa nib. From there, the nib will be roasted and ground into cocoa mass. UCP employs approximately 120 people and plans to add more jobs through the expansion.

(information from Delaware Business Times)
STANDARD - $475 (1-49 employees), $825 (50-99 employees), $1,375 (100+ employees)

PREMIER - $2,675 

STUDENT - $100
Click here to learn more about the benefits of being a member of World Trade Center Delaware. 
With pandemic restrictions lifting, some aspects of the travel and tourism industry are returning to normal, such as flights to major vacation destinations. You can track trends in international travel with the International Trade Administration COVID-19 Travel Industry Monitor. This resource provides helpful data visualization tools and raw data broken down by helpful categories, such as the country of residence of international travelers to the United States. 

The U.S. Commercial Service can help your travel and tourism business attract international visitors. You can find market intelligence and sign up for a newsletter on the travel and tourism industry.
Weekly International Job Posts: The latest 300 job opportunities posted on DevelopmentAid

  • Marketing & Communication Expert, Storyteller and Fundraiser, Rwanda
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  • And more!

To view all the up-to-date jobs, please click the link below:

International Delaware Magazine Released by World Trade Center Focuses on FinTech in the First State

The World Trade Center Delaware has released its fourth edition of International Delaware Magazine which focuses on Delaware's growing FinTech industry.

“Little did we know when we first discussed the theme for this issue just how timely this edition would be,” said World Trade Center Delaware President Carla Stone. “The use of IT and e-commerce exploded during the past eight months as people sought to limit contact with others in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It is clear that financial technology services, or FinTech, is here to stay and will only grow in the future.”

The foundation for FinTech in Delaware was laid in 1981, when then-Gov. Pierre S. du Pont IV signed the Financial Center Development Act, legislation designed to increase employment in the banking and financial services sector by attracting out-of-state institutions to establish subsidiaries in Delaware. Today, Delaware, despite its tiny population, is one of the world's great financial centers. Over 75% of all FinTech investment in the Philadelphia region is found in Delaware and it has the highest concentration of financial services employment in the entire country according to a study by Delaware Prosperity Partnership. The study, "Delaware in a FinTech Future," reported that Delaware ranks No. 1 per capita for the number of FinTech patents issued over the past ten years in the U.S. and No. 5 overall. 

Discover Bank, this issue's presenting sponsor, is making a significant contribution to Delaware's FinTech future. In partnership with the University of Delaware and Delaware Technology Park, Discover is building a new 100,000-square-foot center for FinTech innovation on the university's Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus that will combine the prowess of academia, government, and industry to support and grow FinTech's future in Delaware. “We thank Discover and all of our partners who have made this issue of International Delaware possible,” Stone said. “Tens of thousands of readers around the world will learn what we already know: FinTech is the future of commerce and Delaware is its home.”

To read/download your copy, please click the image above.
World Trade Center® Delaware is the State’s premier international business resource. We help companies, especially small, medium-sized and emerging enterprises, to grow their international business. We provide trade leads, training programs, job leads, networking, matchmaking, trade mission and reverse trade mission opportunities for Delaware companies. We serve all types of companies in various sectors including agriculture, environmental remediation, IT, medical equipment manufacturing, biopharmaceuticals, financial, legal and real estate services.  For more information visit us at www.wtcde.com.
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