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Learning the trade

When the Virtual Trade Mission Foundation arrived to conduct a workshop on international trade at the 1,600-student North High School in Wichita, Kan., Principal Roel Quintanilla did not expect to be sending one of his students on a presidential visit to Malaysia as a result.

The 28 students who took part in the three-day workshop last October had to choose a product, design an international marketing strategy, and then present their plan to workshop instructors and business representatives.

Noel Gould, the president of the Washington-based trade-mission foundation, was on hand for part of the workshop. He was so impressed with the school and with one of the student's skills that he invited senior Tony Navarro, business teacher Matt Silverthorne, and Mr. Quintanilla to Washington for the annual meeting of the president's Export Council. The council is a 26-member panel composed of prominent business leaders.

But Mr. Gould's next call to the school would provide an even greater surprise.

He invited Tony Navarro to attend the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a multinational forum of business and government leaders from 21 member nations, Nov. 15-18 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

While in Washington, the youth from Wichita met President Clinton and threw out the first question. He asked the council about its plans to educate the public about international trade.

After that, he had only a few hours to catch his breath before he left for an eight-day trip to Kuala Lumpur with Mr. Gould, Vice President Al Gore, members of the president's Export Council, and several other students from around the country. The goal of the trip was to introduce students to the complexities of the emerging global marketplace.

Mr. Clinton was originally slated to attend, but because of a flare-up in tensions between the United States and Iraq, he opted to send Mr. Gore instead.

--Michelle Galley

Vol. 18, Issue 14, Page 3

Published in Print: November 25, 1998, as Take Note
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