June 17, 2021

10:00 am / 12:00 pm

CWTA Special Offer: N. America-Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Investment Summit 2021
Thursday, June 17, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
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The organizers of the Investment Summit have carefully crafted the agenda to cater to U.S. East Coast attendees, from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon. The event extends even further; please consult the Summit 2021 Agenda for more details. You are welcome to attend whichever Summit events interest you.

This is an online event.
Please  CLICK THIS LINK to register and the appropriate registration information will be sent in your confirmation email!

John Galles
Carolina World Trade Association (CWTA)


CWTA Luncheon – Roundtable Discussion
Thurs. Jul. 15, 2021
11:30AM – 1:00 PM
CWTA is currently planning to hold its first post-COVID in-person lunch meeting as a roundtable discussion of issues and policies affecting international trade at the local, state and federal levels. As a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, it is our ambition to provide a nonpartisan forum for the free exchange of knowledge and ideas, for a discussion of the challenges we face, and for an opportunity to bounce ideas off peers, enriching to you personally and professionally. We believe that meaningful shared dialogue and interaction between business leaders can result in powerful connections forged. No topic is too small or too broad-tariffs, counterfeiting, intellectual property theft, immigration, supply chain logistics, you name it.
Please contact me if you have more specific thoughts!

This is the annual renewal period for CWTA membership. CWTA depends entirely on membership revenue to bring you important and timely international trade information. If you have received your membership invitation, please make payment. If not, you may directly access the membership link here:

Don’t miss your opportunity to purchase the CWTA Jeweled Lapel Pin, engraved on gold-tone metal with a magnetic fastener (no holes in clothing) and featuring a crystal jewel representing the greater Charlotte region. Look for the CWTA Jeweled Lapel Pin on your Registration Form!

Carolina World Trade Association
Founded in 1964, CWTA is a chapter of the North Carolina World Trade Association (NCWTA), which promotes growth of trade between North Carolina and the world by providing education and networking opportunities for our global ecosystem.
As a business-driven non-profit organization, CWTA’s mission is to promote, foster and encourage international commerce success and expand economic growth in the Carolinas region. We do this by:
  • Advocating the interests of businesses engaged in international trade on local, regional, state and federal levels;
  • Educating businesses and their employees to the issues, policies, and practices within international trade;
  • Promoting opportunities for expanding inbound and outbound international commerce; and
  • Celebrating the successes of international trade in the region.
Dear John,

As the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region continues its rapid development and accelerates its digital transformation, it presents N. American companies with investment opportunities across many sectors. For a limited time only, the Carolina World Trade Association (CWTA) is pleased to offer our members and partners Complimentary Access ($600 USD value) to this international event connecting growing CEE-based companies with major and mid-sized N. American direct investors.

Register before end-of-day Wednesday, June 16, 2021 to take advantage of this special offer!
The Event:
North American / Central and Eastern Europe Investment
Central and Eastern EuropeVenture investors often overlook eastern Europe, despite its potential and track record of success stories. While private equity investment in the central and eastern Europe (CEE) region reached €2.95bn in 2019, funding an all-time record of 464 companies, that still represents only 3.1% of the European total.
Investment and trade between the United States and Central Eastern Europe are strong and have developed deeply over the last 25 years. Yet opportunities still abound in both directions: U.S. to CEE; and CEE to U.S.
The CEE region continues its rapid development and is quickening its digital transformation across all sectors, presenting U.S. companies with opportunities in shared services, digital services, manufacturing, commercial and residential real estate, energy, EV and the automotive sector, pharma and medical. And CEE-based companies are becoming a recognizable force as they expand into the U.S., in such sectors as tech/IT and smart manufacturing. See more data on why VCs from the west should not be afraid of startups from the east, read here.
“Connections” is the theme of this year’s annual N. America-CEE Investment Summit which aims to connect top North American companies investing in Central and Eastern Europe with top CEE companies, cities, countries, and associations and globally ambitious CEE companies expanding into the United States and Canada. This is an opportunity to open doors in the Central and Eastern European community!

The Event: The Charlotte Connection

We’re especially pleased that this year’s N. America – CEE Investment Summit has identified the city of Charlotte as one of the top locations for cross-border expansion. Alexis Gordon, the city’s International Business Manager, will be making a presentation on behalf of the City of Charlotte, scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. You are invited to tune in to that presentation and to contribute as well to the Charlotte and the Carolinas Roundtable at 10:45 a.m., where you can meet directly with other Summit guests.
PrintfulOf interest, earlier in the day, the Summit will feature co-founder Krisjanis Ozols of Charlotte unicorn Printful. Printful is a print-on-demand company that prints and ships products for e-commerce retailers, allowing its customers to sell custom products without having to deal with or invest in inventory themselves. Based in Riga, Latvia, the company’s stateside headquarters is in Charlotte, where it has two locations and more than half of its 800-plus employees.
We are also pleased that this international event is being organized by fellow Charlottean Thom Barnhardt, a serial entrepreneur in publishing business media and high-end consumer media in Central and Eastern Europe with a corporate finance background.
Thom, a graduate of Charlotte Latin School and the University of Virginia and its Darden School of Business, has been running businesses in Poland and Central Eastern Europe the last 20-plus years. He has prepared a special introductory video for the event.
While the Summit physical event will take place in Poland (6 hours ahead of our time), the online platform is the highly-interactive Hopin, and the organizers have carefully crafted the agenda to cater to U.S. East Coast attendees, from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon our time. Please consult the Summit 2021 Agenda for presentation details. You are welcome to attend whichever Summit events interest you.
The Event: Hopin Live Online Event Management Platform

This is also an opportunity to experience the Hopin.com virtual platform. Developed by a firm in London, Hopin.com is a sophisticated all-in-one live online event management software platform. It has more robust offerings than Zoom like a reception area, schedule, user profiles, direct video calling, expo area, sponsor branding opportunities, backstage, or multi-tier chat. Hopin enables users to sell tickets, or automate 1:1 meetings, or have multiple concurrent broadcasts and breakout rooms going on simultaneously. If you want to experience the ability to move around freely during the conference, this is the place to do it! If you have never tried it before, take advantage of this opportunity to create an account at www.hopin.com and do so!!
View this video of a Live Hopin Event!
Thom Barnhardt, CEO & Event Executive Producer, CEE Business Media Inc.
Thom BarnhardtThom Barnhardt is a fellow Charlottean and founder of CEE Business Media, Inc., an organizer of digital and physical awards events focused on Central Eastern Europe (especially business services and digital/tech), connecting CEE-based companies to international partners and investors. His platform connects capital with companies, introducing small and medium-sized CEE-based companies to international strategic investors, medium-sized institutional investors, and high-net worth individual investors and family offices.
Thom has founded or co-founded numerous companies involved in publishing business media and high-end consumer media in Central Eastern Europe including the Warsaw, Budapest and Prague Business Journals, monthly City Magazines later sold to Polish media group Agora, and Voyage travel monthly magazine sold to Bauer.
He served previously as a corporate finance advisor to Arthur Andersen in Budapest, Hungary, and to Eurocorp International Finance, in brand marketing for Coca-Cola in Tokyo, and before that as a vice president in corporate finance with Bank America in Virginia and N.C.
He is a graduate of Charlotte Latin School and University of Virginia and its Darden School of Business, and has been running businesses in Poland and Central Eastern Europe the last 20-plus years.
He is interested in hearing from you if your business is considering expansion opportunities in countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, or Lithuania. This Investment Summit 2021 is aimed at building new business connections and deepening existing connections across a wide range of industries and Thom is particularly well situated to make Charlotte connections!
Thom Barnhardt’s contact information is as follows:
CEE Business Media Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina 28210
48-508-143-963 mobile
www.BiznesPolska.pl  – Poland’s leading English-language business Newsletter
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We sincerely appreciate your interest in Carolina World Trade Association events and invite any and all feedback from those in attendance as well as any suggestions for conduct of meetings or topics of interest for the international trade business community!

John Galles
Carolina World Trade Association (CWTA)