BridgeEnglish Denver executive students launched the holiday season with an elegant evening at the Canadian Consul General’s residence December 8, followed by a meeting with one of the largest NGOs based in Denver December 14, as part of the Bridge executive enrichment program.
The Canadian celebration included cocktails, international networking and a welcome by Ladan Amirazizi, acting Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner for Canada in Denver. The Government of Canada opened the Consulate General office in Denver in 2004 to increase Canada’s presence and expand bilateral trade and economic relations in the US.
Amirazizi noted that bilateral trade between Canada and Colorado totaled $5 billion in 2010, a 165% increase from 2003, with energy, chemicals and agricultures comprising the largest trade sectors. Canada is Colorado’s largest export market, with Colorado selling more to Canada than the next three countries (Mexico, China and the Netherlands) combined. Nearly $1.7 billion in goods and services cross the Canada-US border daily, resulting in $1 million every minute.
The holiday event was sponsored by the International Business Circle, an invitation-only organization of Colorado people engaged in international business, which hosts business forums and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Members include executives and consultants in international marketing, sales, investment, manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, tourism and education, including the BridgeEnglish School.
Bridge student Akira Yamakazi of Japan commented, “It was a valuable opportunity to speak English with business people in a real world setting as opposed to the classroom, and to get experience networking in the U.S.” The Japanese students also met the Japanese Consul General of the Denver office, Ikuhiko Ono, who attended, and Yamakazi addressed the entire group, reminiscing about a past contact with Canadians.
Bridge participants also included Japanese students Michiko Ito, Hideo Mori, Fumitaka Okuda, and Colombian Edwin de Castillo Hamburguer.
On December 14, Bridge executive students met with Laryl Hutchin, Investor Relations Manager for the Denver –based NGO International Development Enterprises (IDE) to learn about its programs in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America to eliminate global poverty.
Hutchins explained IDE’s programs for job and income generation for poor rural households, including simple agricultural technology and low cost access to water. With IDE’s help, 19 million people have significantly increased their income and moved out of poverty, generating $ 1.01 billion in income, since the NGO was founded 30 years ago
IDE’s programs, Hutchin added, have resulted in high cost effectiveness: for every donor dollar IDE invests in global projects, its customers generate an average of $ 10 in additional household income. IDE has a $20 million annual operating budget, with coming 97% from grants. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded grants totaling nearly $60 million to IDE in recent years.
BridgeEnglish attendees at the briefing included Japanese students Michiko Ito, Hideo Mori, Fumitaka Okuda, and Akira Yamazaki, and Brazilian Leonardo Cintra.
BridgeEnglish is striving to enrich the cultural and professional experience of executive students while they are studying in Denver by introducing them to the international business community through networking and educational events at local universities and international organizations.