November, 2012

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Record-Breaking Crowd Honors Chilean- American Business Pioneers

Friday, November 30th, 2012

A record-breaking capacity-crowd of over 320 international business people, the maritime community, consular corps and well wishers packed the ballroom of Philadelphia’s Union League, saluting this year’s honorees at the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce- 15th Annual Friend of Chile Award ceremonies.

In his opening remarks, Chamber president Robert Palaima said Chilean & American economic developments continue to be one of the world’s most positive international news stories.

“As the needs of Chile’s technical, mining and agri-businesses continue to grow,” he said, “so do American businesses, taking part in this extraordinary 21st century success story.”

Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack took the occasion to commend the Chamber’s ingenuity and diplomatic
skills. In his remarks, he emphasized the vital role the Ports of the Delaware River play in Chilean and American economic success. Senator Stack also delivered good news about improving the Ports’ ability to attract even more world-wide business, detailing the operation to deepen the port’s channels by five feet.

Introducing the Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Bob Palaima noted His Excellency, Felipe Bulnes has already spent a lot of time in the States while at Harvard Law School. Ambassador Bulnes had high praise for the Chamber’s international work, noting it’s one of the most successful Chambers in the U-S and longstanding relationships make that a reality”

During last year’s Friend of Chile Award ceremony, Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett said he’d like to go to Chile. And just days before this event, came the announcement that he is booking the trade mission for mid-April of 2013.

Ambassador Bulnes, made special note of Governor Corbett’s newly announced plans to visit Chile, saying he was extremely pleased and looking forward to the visit of the Pennsylvania delegation.

The Ambassador was highly impressed with the work of the two award recipients David Schiro, of Jac. Vandenberg Incorporated and Don Caldwell of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In his thanks, he expressed the appreciation of his entire nation for their innovative and pioneering efforts.

Visionary business leader,  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, Don Caldwell and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art’s Bacchanal! Wine Committee were given the Chamber’s Pablo Neruda Award. Their annual Bacchanal! and Wine Auction have evolved into a premiere philanthropic event, promoting cross-cultural understanding through a shared appreciation of Chilean wine and viticulture.

In his introduction, Robert Palaima recounted the efforts made by then-Academy Board Chairman Don Caldwell, describing a winning partnership where tradition, innovation and philanthropy work together securing fine art and artists, for centuries to come. PAFA’s one-day wine auction has now evolved into a weekend of highly successful events which are some of the most sought-after tickets in town, generating profound societal benefits, preserving the nation’s first art museum, oldest teaching academy and creating scholarships for future artists.

The Chamber’s prestigious Friend of Chile Award was presented to pioneering Chilean fruit importer David

As the president of the venerable import firm, Jac. Vandenberg Incorporated, David Schiro has helped make history and been a witness to history, in his 38 years with the company. He has seen the Republic of Chile go through all manner of profound societal changes, from earthquakes to transforming desert into lush farmland, then developing world-class produce and distribution strategies. Schiro has played a key role in helping expand the international market for Chilean fruit and watched its phenomenal trajectory into a worldwide leader and economic powerhouse. Chile is No. 14 in the world for food exports and rocketing toward the ‘Top Ten.’ Those numbers also mean well over 100,000 jobs from the farms of Chile to the docks of the Delaware River.

Leo Holt, of Holt Logistics, presented the Friend of Chile award to David Schiro, recounting examples of Schiro’s strength and rare ability to remain and create calm, even in the most hectic and heated circumstances.

Everyone there reveled in Chile’s modern-day, feel-good story of the ‘Little Engine that Could.’

Ricardo Maldonado, Executive Director of the Chilean & American Chamber said,“These are the kinds of alliances and success that insure a better future for everyone. With the academy of fine arts and Chile, we have a wonderful example demonstrating that when the Arts and Business get together – the entire society is the really big winner. With David Schiro and Jac. Vandenberg, we see the mutual appreciation and benefits of a deep and enduring friendship. Chile and its North American partners are lighting the way.”

In a world too-often focused on turmoil, the Chilean & American story of international cooperation and expanding prosperity is a genuine inspiration.

In 2013, the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce celebrates 25 Years of contributing to the progress and economic strength of the Philadelphia Region.

Click here to see pictures from the 2012 Friend of Chile Awards

15th Annual "Friend of Chile" Awards Luncheon Video

Friday, November 30th, 2012

15th Annual “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon

The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

At this year’s 15th Annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon, The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce presented international import pioneer, David Schiro, with their Friend of Chile Award. Noted civic leader Don Caldwell and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art’s Bacchanal! Wine Committee were honored with the Chamber’s Pablo Neruda Award. Both awardees have charted new territory in the realm of cultural bridge building and social innovation between nations. His Excellency Felipe Bulnes, Chile’s Ambassador to the United States, joined the Chamber in offering commendations to both honorees, along with Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack, who is noted for his long-time support of Chilean and Keystone state relations.

2012 “Friend of Chile” Awards Luncheon

Pennsylvania Governor is going to Chile in the spring of 2013!

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Governor Tom Corbett will lead a delegation of Pennsylvania business, tourism and university leaders on a business development mission to Brazil and Chile next spring that will focus on creating new economic opportunities and job growth.

“Brazil and Chile are two of the world’s fastest growing economies and we have seen a growing interest in the market from Pennsylvania companies,” Corbett said. “Strengthening our trade relationship with these countries will lead to new business growth and jobs for Pennsylvanians.”

As part of the Governor’s Jobs First initiative, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) is organizing the April 2013 jobs mission to Brazil and Chile in partnership with Team Pennsylvania Foundation. The trip will be paid for through private funding.

The mission will concentrate on growing the Pennsylvania economy and creating jobs through:

  • promoting our export market,
  • attracting foreign investment,
  • promoting Pennsylvania’s world class port system to increase traffic,
  • international student recruitment and
  • promoting Pennsylvania as a top destination for tourism.

“I am committed to creating an economic climate that positions Pennsylvania to compete for jobs in the U.S. and throughout the world,” Corbett said. “As the chief executive of the world’s 20th largest economy, I am leading this delegation to help open new opportunities for job growth.”

Brazil’s economy is currently the seventh largest in the world and the top economy in South America with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.08 trillion in 2011. Chile is the fifth largest economy in South America with a GDP of $212.7 billion.

Together, Brazil and Chile are Pennsylvania’s seventh largest export destination and recently, there has been an upward trend in exports to both countries. This past year alone, Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development has experienced an increase in activity from its trade clients in both markets.

In March 2012, Corbett led a business development mission to France and Germany. Over the course of six days, the delegation participated in meetings, seminars, events and business-to-business appointments. As a result, seven trade agreements are already under consideration and an estimated $1.25 million in new export sales have been generated.

Additionally, the mission generated 16 new investment leads and 10 active projects that have the potential to create more than 580 new jobs.

  • Hydrotechnik signed a lease in Sewickley, Allegheny County and expects to begin operations in mid-November. This project will result in 15 new jobs.
  • ANSYS will open a new 186,000 square-foot facility in the fourth quarter of 2014 and has committed to creating 180 new jobs in three years.
  • Alstom Grid, an electrical grid management company, announced they are moving its U.S. headquarters from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia.
  • B. Braun announced its continued expansion in the Lehigh Valley, opening a Central Admixture Pharmacy services facility that will employ 70 people.