REPRESENTATIVES FROM 67 WORLD TRADE CENTERS CONNECT TO PROMOTE GLOBAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT AT 2019 WORLD TRADE CENTERS ASSOCIATION MEMBER SEMINAR IN NYC
NEW YORK, NY – October 27, 2019 – The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) — a network of more than 325 highly-connected, mutually supportive businesses and organizations intimately involved in grassroots trade and investment in nearly 100 countries — hosted its 2019 Member Seminar in New York City from October 6-8. The event brought together more than 100 leaders from 67 World Trade Centers (WTCs) across the globe, as well as prominent trade and investment industry thought leaders, for insightful discussion, networking and collaboration.
“On behalf of the World Trade Centers Association, I wish to thank everyone who worked tirelessly to make our 2019 Member Seminar a success — from our members to our expert guest speakers, sponsors, and staff,” said WTCA CEO Scott Ferguson. “Seeing our diverse and engaged community come together to share their expertise and learn from one another, and work together toward the common goal of facilitating global trade and investment fills me with great pride.”
Highlights from the event include a keynote panel titled “The New Normal: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?” on the current geopolitical climate featuring distinguished thought leaders:
- Mr. Craig Allen, President of the U.S.-China Business Council, former United States Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia and China, US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
- Dr. Rolf Alter, former Chief of Staff to the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), member of the Advisory Board of the Global Risk Report of the World Economic Forum, and Senior Fellow at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin
- Ms. Karen Tramontano, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Star Strategies, and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff to President William Jefferson Clinton
Moderated by Allison Carlson, managing director, FP Analytics, Mr. Allen, Dr. Alter and Ms. Tramontano shared their expert perspectives on today’s global trade and investment landscape and the hot-button issues shaping it. They discussed trends uncovered in the 2019 WTCA Trade and Investment Report and related topics including how to operate in uncertain times; perspectives on bilateral, multilateral and plurilateral trade agreements; and the impact of technology and innovation on trade.
During the panel discussion, Dr. Alter highlighted the value that WTCs bring to the global trade and investment community: “Businesses and their local governments have enormous potential to move things forward because people are engaged. If World Trade Centers provide a platform for great ideas, I do think that makes a difference….most action takes place in cities.”
Following the panel discussion, Grace Chen, project manager, coordination section, planning and finance department of WTC Taipei, provided attendees with a preview of the exciting and valuable program elements that can be expected at the WTCA’s 51st General Assembly (GA), which will be hosted March 1-4, 2020 in Taipei. With a theme of “Connecting Business to the Digital World,” the event will take place at the Taipei International Convention Center and focus on industries including but not limited to:
- Agriculture and Smart Agriculture
- Green Technology
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Medical Services and Smart Healthcare
- Smart Cities
- Smart Manufacturing
- Startup and Innovation
Additionally, this year’s Member Seminar included highly collaborative working sessions on joint projects to strengthen trade relations among members and the local companies they represent. WTCA members shared their unique expert insights, case stories, updates on their respective city’s business communities and trade and investment ecosystems, as well as best practices and ideas to benefit their cohorts from around the globe.
Tourism Vancouver and Vancouver Hotel Destination Association (VHDA) were recognized as featured sponsors of the 2019 WTCA Member Seminar.