- European Business Group to Locate Office in Cleveland
European Business Group to Locate U.S. Office in Cleveland
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Effort to encourage business growth between Europe, northeast Ohio to be announced at GCP Annual Meeting
Cleveland, Ohio - March 4, 2009 - A business organization with operations in 34 European nations will locate its U.S. office in Cleveland.
The Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Union ("SME Union") was established in 1996 to promote growth of businesses in Europe. The U.S. office of this umbrella business organization will be located in the Greater Cleveland Partnership's (GCP) offices in the Higbee Building in downtown Cleveland.
The announcement will be made at tomorrow's annual meeting of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) by Board Chairman Henry L. Meyer III and Nadezhda Mihaylova, vice president of the SME Union and deputy speaker of the Bulgarian National Assembly. The meeting will be held Thursday, March 5, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Hanna Theatre, 2067 E. 14th Street.
"The goal of the new venture is to establish new ties between small- to mid-sized companies in Europe and the U.S. that expand international trade and market opportunities in both places," Meyer said. "Having this office in Cleveland will give us another pin on the global map to strengthen the competitiveness of local companies and industries involved in trade and commerce."
This new U.S. office for SME Union will be directed by Dimitar Ivanov, who is from Sofia, Bulgaria.
The SME Union, an umbrella business organization affiliated with the majority political party coalition in the European Parliament that includes representation from the 38 European countries. The SME Union works with all the governments and chambers of commerce in Europe to help small and mid-sized companies grow. Through its connections, the SME Union has access to almost 20 million small to mid-sized businesses across the 38 countries.
The SME Union's operation in Cleveland will be advised by a group representing Northeast Ohio organizations involved with international trade and development including the Port of Cleveland, the State of Ohio Department of Development, the Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium (NEOTEC), the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET), the City of Cleveland, the GCP and others. The new partnership was brokered by The Cleveland Foundation, specifically by Jorge Delgado, the Foundation's director of International Affairs.
Ms. Mihaylova said that she was impressed with the Cleveland region's commitment to build stronger ties with Europe when she met with representatives from the region, including Mayor Jackson, other City officials, and Team NEO representatives in Brussels several months ago. She added that addressing the economic difficulties presently confronting the U.S. and Europe requires the new kinds of collaboration such as that demonstrated in the SME Union's decision to open its U.S. office in Cleveland.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said the location of the group's office here reflects his administration's insistence that Cleveland push hard to further integrate itself into the international world of trade and business.
"Cleveland has a unique set of assets that businesses can benefit from by locating here. My trade missions last year, were entirely about making sure the global marketplace understands what we have to offer and how we both can benefit," Mayor Jackson said. "When we met with SME leadership back in December we were able to demonstrate how and why Cleveland is the perfect location to establish new ties and expand international trade opportunities. I would like to thank the Greater Cleveland Partnership for hosting their office."
Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of The Cleveland Foundation, added "The Cleveland Foundation is pleased to support this new partnership between the GCP and the SME Union. Adding that, deeper international ties like this are critical to Cleveland's future. Expanding global commerce is an important way to increase our city's ability to generate jobs and investment."
As an association of business members, the Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create jobs and leverage investment to improve the economic vitality of the region. The GCP is a founder and proud supporter of the Cleveland Plus marketing campaign. http://www.gcpartnership.com
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