Maryland needs world connections

March 30, 1992

The Baltimore-based American Center for International Leadership has announced plans to gather 500 young, emerging leaders from Eastern and Western Europe here this winter. This major conference underscores the growing importance of European connections for Maryland.

The bulk of business at the Port of Baltimore is European trade. Overseas passenger and cargo operations are an increasing facet of Baltimore-Washington International Airport's activity. Every year, the number of foreign companies locating operations in Maryland grows.

The American Center for International Leadership is now trying to combine these factors by seeking European companies with Maryland bases, in addition to American firms, to act as sponsors for the conference participants.

The center has quite a track record. More than 2,000 emerging leaders from around the world have previously participated in BTC privately financed American Center programs. A key adviser to President Boris N. Yeltsin is an alumnus; so is the city council president in St. Petersburg, Russia's second city. So are the U.S. consul general heading this country's exhibition at the forthcoming Seville World's Fair in Spain and Margaret Tutweiler, a State Department spokeswoman.

Because of a headspinning revolution in electronic communications, the world is shrinking. Yet much of the global business depends on personal contacts. These are the kinds of contacts Baltimore and Maryland need to promote if we are to thrive.

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