Published on October 26, 2011 by Kara Kennedy  

Alabama businesses are invited to a luncheon where they can learn how to expand their operations through export opportunities.

The Alabama Development Office and Samford University’s Brock School of Business will welcome Ian Solomon, U.S. executive director of the World Bank Group, at the Brock International Business Speakers Series Luncheon. The luncheon will be held at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel on Nov. 4 at noon. 

“There are business opportunities for our state’s companies available across the globe through international trade,” said Alabama Development Office Director Greg Canfield. “Exporting helps our companies grow and our state’s economy grow- more than 300,000 Alabama jobs are supported by international trade in the global marketplace." 

Solomon will outline the key elements and assistance the World Bank Group can offer to business leaders who want to expand their businesses overseas.  The World Bank Group focuses primarily on projects that include infrastructure, water sanitation, oil, gas, mining, health, primary education, agriculture and other rural development topics as well innovation in these project areas. 

“We believe that Alabama and the business community as a whole will benefit from this partnership with the World Bank Group,” said Howard Finch, dean of Samford University’s Brock School of Business.  “Our Brock International Business Speakers Series allows us to introduce the business community to a wide-range of opportunities that exist in doingbusiness overseas.”

Solomon will also talk with business leaders who do business in foreign markets at a breakfast meeting. In this roundtable discussion, he will offer insight on collaboration with the Bank in World Bank Group projects.   He will also talk with students at the Brock School of Business about the international trade frontier in developing countries. 

The events are free of charge and are hosted by the Alabama Development Office, Samford University’s Brock School of Business, Hand Arendall and Balch & Bingham LLP.  

Alabama is among the first five individual states in the U.S. to have direct representation in the World Bank Group, through the recently appointed Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO) Meridith McKinney.  The Alabama Development Office (ADO) will help Alabama companies to investigate procurement, investment and joint venture opportunities of World Bank Group projects.  


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.