Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 4, 2003

World Trade Organization Counselor Bernard Kuiten
to Take Part in Three Events at Whitworth

As technology knocks down distance and trade barriers, businesses have the opportunity, if not the economic necessity, to extend their reach to new markets around the globe. World Trade Organization (WTO) Counselor Bernard Kuiten, who has worked on wide-ranging trade issues for the Netherlands, the European Union and WTO, will bring his expertise to the Spokane community March 12 and 13 for three events at the Whitworth College campus.

On March 12, Kuiten will address "WTO -- Impact on Inland Northwest Business" as the Fosseen Distinguished Speaker of International Management. The event, starting with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m., will be held in Whitworth's Hixson Union Building. It is open to the public, but reservations are required. The cost is $25 per person or $250 for a corporate-sponsored table. For reservations, call (509) 777-4585 or fax (509) 777-3723. Proceeds from the banquet will support Master of International Management student scholarships. The event is sponsored by the Whitworth School of Global Commerce and Management, in partnership with Bank of America and the International Trade Alliance, and is supported by Neal and Helen Fosseen.

Kuiten and three local business leaders will take part in the Spokane Economic Development Council's International Trade Rally beginning at 7:30 a.m. on March 13 in Whitworth's Hixson Union Building. Kuiten will be joined by Roberta Brooke of the International Trade Alliance, Steve Helmbrecht of Itron, and Russ Nobbs of Rings & Things on a panel addressing international-trade activity in the region. Currently, more than 200 regional businesses are involved in international trade and more than half of them have expanded their businesses and product lines over the past year, according to the Internatinal Trade Alliance. The rally is free and open to the public. RSVP by March 11 to Pam Mackey at the EDC by calling (509) 363-6820 or pmackey@edc.spokane.net.

The 46th annual Great Decisions lecture series at Whitworth College will also feature Kuiten, who will address "European Integration," from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 13 in the Music Building Recital Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (509) 777-3270.

Kuiten, a counselor for the WTO External Relations Division, is responsible for maintaining, coordinating and expanding relations between the WTO and non-governmental organizations. Kuiten was previously the directorate general for foreign economic relations at the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, and first secretary at the WTO Unit of the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands, in Geneva, Switzerland. He has worked on trade issues related to shipbuilding, steel, agriculture and investments, and he participated in the last General Agreement on Trade and Tarriffs round of negotiations in Uruguay in the early 1990s.

Located in Spokane, Wash., at 300 W. Hawthorne Rd., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Contacts:

Mary Alberts, Masters in International Management associate director for recruiting, internships and marketing, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4280 or malberts@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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