History of the ITC
The International Trade Council (ITC) was formed by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce in 2001 to provide a forum for members with interests in international trade and to offer international educational, programming and networking opportunities for its members. Over the years its membership and activities have expanded. It is now recognized as a leading international business organization in the State of Connecticut and beyond.
One of the ITC's primary activities is putting on events on international trade and investment and on related topics. It has held numerous programs on most aspects of international trade, including exporting, importing, trade finance, international logistics, international distribution and marketing, legal aspects of international trade and programs focusing on various countries and trading blocs.
A major initiative of the ITC is its SITREP program. SITREP (the Stamford Chamber International Trade Resource Program) is an export/import counseling service offered by the ITC to small and medium sized businesses in lower Fairfield County that are new to exporting or importing or have limited international trade experience. Through counseling sessions, ITC members will help participants navigate the sea of export assistance programs offered by the federal, state, and local governments and will advise participants on how to address specific international trade issues the participant faces. For more information on SITREP, click here.
The Chamber prides itself in its partnerships with local, state and federal governmental agencies, other nonprofits and educational institutions. The ITC has forged partnerships and worked closely with the International Affairs Bureau of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, the Connecticut Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Connecticut District Export Council, the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the City of Stamford, as well as various nonprofits throughout the State and region involved in international issues, including CBIA, the World Affairs Forum and the Westchester County Association. It has partnered with the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University on a number of international initiatives.
The Chamber has hosted numerous delegations and dignitaries from various countries, including China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil. It has worked closely with the Mayor's office to serve as the business liaison on international matters in the City of Stamford.
The ITC was instrumental in assisting the Mayor establish Stamford's sister city relationship with Jiangdu, China. At the Mayor's request, the ITC represented the business relationship with that city, including hosting delegations from Jiangdu and sending a Chamber delegation to that city. In addition, the ITC borrowed on its established business relationship with Jiangdu to take a lead role in establishing the educational link with the Jiangdu school system. That educational link, which is now entrenched in the Stamford public school system, has resulted in numerous student and teacher exchanges and a very active relationship between the students and teachers of Stamford and Jiangdu.
The Chamber also serves as the Stamford host for an annual visit by Chinese government officials from Connecticut's sister province in China, Shandong Province, who attend the six-month China Scholars Program at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
The Council provides a great opportunity for Chamber members who have considered entering the global marketplace or who merely want to explore or learn more about international trade opportunities. The networking aspect of the ITC gives members access to others knowledgeable in international trade who are always willing to share their insights and who may be able to offer valuable services to a Chamber business. Anyone interested in joining the ITC should contact the Chamber. Meetings are held monthly (except in August) at 8AM, usually on the second Thursday of the month. Meetings are open to all members, so confirm the meeting date with the Chamber and join us.