U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson presenting the Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade to HPEC Chairman Steve Craven.
The Hawaii District Export Council was honored to host U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson at Foreign Trade Zone #9 on November 10, 2011. This was Secretary Bryson's first stop on his APEC tour in Honolulu and his first official meeting as the newly appointed Secretary of Commerce. Roughly twenty export council members including Director John Holman were in attendance for this special event, which kicked off with a round table discussion that spurred an excellent dialogue between council members and Secretary Bryson. Topics included Hawaii's strategic position in the pacific with relation to APEC markets such as Japan, China and South Korea, Hawaii's role as a major exporter of tourism, the U.S. Commercial Service budget and passport application inefficiencies that impair transpacific business. John Holman delivered an inspiring presentation that highlighted Hawaii's role in the U.S. National Export Initiative and showcased the incredible year over year results that the Hawaii office has been able to produce. At the conclusion of the meeting Secretary Bryson presented the Hawaii Pacific Export Council with a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade, in recognition of HPEC's role in creating and developing opportunities for U.S. businesses through trade. This certificate is designated for only the most deserving of trade partners and was one of only two presented by Secretary Bryson during his APEC visit.
Following the meeting was a groundbreaking ceremony on the lot at Foreign Trade Zone #9. Governor Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Brian Schatz were in attendance and presided over this momentous occasion. Secretary Bryson shared with the crowd his fond childhood memories as a seventh grader attending Kaimuki Intermediate and gave a speech in which he acknowledged Hawaii's critical role in global trade. The $10 million project is funded by a Federal grant and the State and when completed in 2013 will house roughly 40 new businesses designed to increase Hawaii's role in international trade.