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UB to Host US-Balkans Summit March 23, 24

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While most University of Baltimore students take a vacation and some diligent ones hit the books during spring break this March, a gathering of dignitaries and businesspeople from southern Europe will convene at the UB midtown campus to talk about Maryland as their primary point of contact with the American business world. On March 23 and 24, the US-Balkans Business Summit will welcome top-level officials from seven countries in the region of the former Yugoslavia to Charm City. Among the most prominent attendees will be Bakir Izetbegovic, one of the three presidents of Bosnia-Herzegovina's tripartite executive, and Filip Vuljanovic, President of Montenegro.

Charles Dillon, President of the US-Balkans Business Alliance, says that Balkan heads of state and commercial powers are "looking to Maryland as a gateway to enter the U.S. marketplace." In addition to officials, Dillon says that close to sixty private companies from the Balkans will come to Baltimore for the forum. The event builds on standing relationships between Maryland and the region: Maryland National Guard forces have engaged in over 200 joint training exercises with soldiers from Bosnia-Herzegovina since a "sister state" partnership was established in 2003, and the state operates a trade office for the western Balkans in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, under the auspices of the Department of Business and Economic Development. US-Balkans Business Summit staff will assist attendees in arranging business-to-business meetings and business-to-government meetings over the course of the two-day event, with the goal of establishing lasting ties between Maryland and the Balkans.

Writer: Sam Hopkins
Source: Charles Dillon, Esq.
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