World Trade Center Spotlight: San Diego

I love San Diego.  It has it all.  Gorgeous beaches, idyllic weather (the U.S. Weather Bureau describes it as the “closest thing to perfect”), great museums, world famous zoo, Sea World and much more.  It is a fabulous place to visit, and I have been there several times, but not as much as I would like!  What a great place to live especially if you are in international trade.


Newsletter:  The Trader

Officers:  Bella Heule, President/CEO; Hugh Constant, Executive Vice President; Reynaldo G. Lontok, Chief Financial Officer/COO

Mission: Provide comprehensive international trade services and key global contacts to facilitate and expand trade for regional and worldwide clients.

Background:  Established in 1994, WTCSD was one of the first World Trade Centers internationally to be certified by the WTCA, receiving a best practices designation for their trade missions.  WTCSD is a private-public partnership with the City of San Diego, the Unified Port District, and Regional Airport.

Trade Focus:  San Diego, California occupies a strategic location in the United States.  It is on the border of Mexico and on the Pacific Rim.  This makes San Diego a multi-cultural city and thus excellent for international business opportunites.  Because San Diego and Tijuana create the largest metropolitan artea on the U.S./Mexico border, it is an ideal area for taking advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Many companies with manufacturing plants in Mexico have their administration and/or operation facilities in San Diego.  This concept is known as Maquiladoras or Twin Plants. The border crossing San Ysidro Port of Entry is the busiest international border crossing in the world.

San Diego is authorized by the U.S. to operate as a Foreign Trade Zone.  In 2009 the Port of San Diego handled over $1 million “short tons of total trade”.  Over $900,000 was foreign trade.  The terminal at Tenth Avenue has facilities for refrigerated and frozen storage so it can handle imports and exports of perishables, for example 33 million bananas every month. (We eat a lot of bananas here in the States.)

In September 2010, WTCSD was awarded a multi-year grant of $425,000 from the International Trade Administation to help finance their work in encouraging U.S. technology to solve the water issues in the Middle East, North Africa and India.

Economy: San Diego’s economic entities are: military, defense, tourism, international trade, and research/manufacturing. San Diego also hosts the largest naval fleet in the world, and the U.S. Navy is its top employer.

Services: WTCSD has 4 core areas of service that provide businesses with links for international opportunites and bring value to San Diego’s international trade community: relationships, global marketing, international public affairs and trade knowledge.

Trade services also including market research, trade counseling, trade referrals, matchmaking, and trade service requests. Trade information packets are available covering over 30 countries.  The packets include a 50 page overview of each country’s market and a 200-page report on information a business would need to know.

Another service: Asia Desk “provides trade services, hosts inbound business and trade delegations form Asia, and organizes outbound trade missions, information seminars, training programs and networking events.”


  • 7/26  Water Opportunies for U.S. Companies with Alberta
  • 8/9  Cross Cultural Business Communication Workshop: Russia
  • 9/8 Peace Prosperity & Diversity Though Trade: a 9/11 Commemoration
  • 10/4 Tools for Trade: Post 9/11 Trade Compliance Update

Contact Information:

World Trade Center San Diego
2989 Pacific Hwy
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 615.0868

Offloading cargo (bananas?) at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: