Irvine’s inaugural Trade Week forum features export experts

18 May 2015 | News

Orange County, USA

Chang, vice president of Irvine-based Boscogen Inc., was one of three panelists featured Thursday morning at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural World Trade Week Forum and Breakfast at the Irvine Hilton. Panelist and Coto de Caza resident Natalie Plain, owner of Billion Dollar Brows, said being active on social media has allowed her to connect with overseas fans of her eyebrow-enhancing products.

Plain grew her company with the assistance of an international trade loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. “If you are fairly successful in your business domestically … I see no philosophical or conceptual reason why you also can not be successful overseas,” he said. “Am I saying that there’s no difference between shipping your merchandise from here to Topeka versus here to Taipei? No, I’m not.” Keynote speaker Mark O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer and founder of European consultancy OCO Global, also encouraged forum attendees to not be daunted when considering expansion into new markets.

Exporting is “not rocket science,” he said during his address, especially with sufficient preparation. Jim Mayfield, director of the Irvine office of the U.S. Export Assistance Center, said Orange County exporters should take advantage of growth drivers, including the popularity of online shopping, “dramatic” demographic shifts such as the aging of the Japanese population and the shopping patterns of millennials, and the attractiveness of the California lifestyle as a brand to audiences abroad. Orange County chapters of some international-American chambers attended the event, as did representatives of foreign consular offices in the U.S.