independent

Saturday 22 September 2018

Wexford and US trade links will be strengthened by Tradebridge initiative

Alison Stone Thompson, development officer with Tradebridge
Alison Stone Thompson, development officer with Tradebridge

Esther Hayden

A new initiative aimed at creating new trade opportunities between Wexford and Savannah will be headed up by Wexford woman Alison Stone Thompson.

The Tradebridge Initiative is a collaborative venture between Wexford Enterprise Centre and Wexford County Council supported by Wexford Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Ireland as well as their counterparts in Savannah - Savannah Economic Development Authority and Savannah World Trade Centre.

Alison who can trace her Wexford roots back to the mid 1800s has recently been appointed by development officer for the initiative.

She brings over 20 years commercial experience to the table having held strategic positions at DoneDeal, Meteor and O2 as well as having run her own business. Tradebridge has one simple but ambitious aim; to create new trade opportunities between Wexford and Savannah

Located in the State of Georgia, USA; Savannah was the destination of choice for the majority of Wexford famine emigrants. In the mid 1800s 25 per cent of the population of Savannah was Irish and 56 per cent of those Irish originated from Co. Wexford. Today Savannah is a one of the largest port cities in the USA. Surnames such as Kehoe and Rossiter are synonymous with Savannah and there is even an area called Wexford there too.

In recent years excellent civic relations, education, and tourism activity have been successfully nurtured between Wexford and Savannah. Building on that good work, Tradebridge was conceived with the specific focus of creating export lead opportunities for both Wexford and Savannah based Businesses, securing new sales and market penetration within both regions, the US and Europe.

The first phase of the initiative will see five Wexford companies exporting to Savannah/US and five Savannah companies exporting to Europe with Wexford as their test market and support hub. Alison has been employed as the Tradebridge Development Officer in Wexford and it is her job to ensure there is a market for the products being exported by Wexford companies in Savannah. Alison will ensure all the doors are open and local supports are in place for Wexford companies exporting as part of the Tradebridge initiative.

Trey Rossiter is the Development Officer in Savannah and he will do the same for Savannah companies. There will be plenty of opportunities for local companies to support those Savannah companies on the ground in Wexford too.

Applications are now being accepted from Wexford based companies who can prove they are ready to export by applying on www.wexsavtradebridge.com or by emailing info@wexsavtradebridge.com Closing date for expressions of interest is May 31.

Many people emigrated to Savannah as it was marketed as having jobs and cheap fertile land.

Wexford People

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