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2023 Global Upstate Conference

October 3, 2023 @ 8:00 am - October 4, 2023 @ 7:00 pm


The Global Upstate Conference on International Business and Foreign Affairs is a unique conference in the Upstate region of South Carolina that is being held October 3 & 4, 2023, after a highly successful inaugural event in March of 2022. It brings together representatives of international companies, government agencies, local industry, national think-tanks, universities, the military, and non-governmental organizations. As an interdisciplinary event that brings leaders and scholars together for thoughtful discussions about the most pressing issues and opportunities facing the world, the Global Upstate Conference, presented by the nonprofit World Affairs Council Upstate, the Upstate International Center, and its partners, provides a unique opportunity for grassroots engagement in the global issues of today.

In our region, global engagement is critical to a healthy Upstate SC economy and a thriving, diverse population whose cultures bring new talent and cultural richness to our communities. Open to the public, the conference will be promoted across our ten-county region, which is situated strategically between Atlanta and Charlotte and home to the SC Inland Port system and over 540 internationally owned companies. South Carolina ranks #1 for private industry employment by Majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign multinational enterprises. The state also stands out as the top destination for foreign investment, ranking #1 nationwide in attracting jobs through foreign investment.

Feedback from the inaugural 2022 event, which showcased 54 speakers on 22 topics, was fantastic, as voiced by City of Greer Mayor Rick Danner, who said: “The conference provided a unique opportunity to gain exposure to international, national, and even statewide issues from outstanding speakers and panelists. The opportunity to collect so much valuable information on foreign affairs, U.S. foreign policy, the international business community, and what it all means to us in the upstate was not just time well spent, but time well invested. I encourage any leader who feels compelled to be on the leading edge of the issues that affect us now – and will affect us in the future – to strongly consider attending this conference.”

We envision a total of 400+ participants with expected attendance at the conference by Internationally Owned Companies, C-suite Business Leaders, representatives of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the U.S. Commercial Service- SC, the South Carolina Export Consortium, local Government leaders, Service Sector professionals from Law firms to Accounting, Manufacturing representatives, Information Technology, Engineering, and Logistics companies, the South Carolina Ports Authority, and others. Students from 5 upstate higher education institutions, USC Upstate, Clemson University, Furman University, Wofford College, and Converse University, will attend the conference. Student attendees will also represent Greenville High School.


October 3, 2023 @ 8:00 am
October 4, 2023 @ 7:00 pm
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Event Halls at Greer City Hall
301 East Poinsett Street
Greer, SC 29651
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(864) 631-2188