MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – WTCA CEO Eric Dahl recently returned from a successful trip to Mexico and Central America, where he met with representatives of thirteen World Trade Center Operations, as well as a number of prospective Licensees. Below is a recap of his “travel report.”
First of all, I want to thank Carlos Ronderos, WTCA Regional Development Manager Latin America for a well-planned and organized trip!
We started in Mexico City where we held a full day of discussions with representatives from 10 of the 11 Mexican World Trade Center Operations. Participants included Eduardo Franco and Fernando Pacheco of the WTC Cancun & WTC Queretaro, Jesus Hernandez, WTC Culiacan, Carlos Torres, WTC Guadalajara, Gaston Cantarell, WTC Mexico City, Eugenio Reyes, WTC Monterrey, Esteban Puente, WTC San Luis Potosi, Gregorio Goldstein, WTC Tijuana, Adriana Escalante, WTC Toluca, and Lucia Fernanda and Beatriz Castellanos from the WTC Veracruz. During the meeting each WTCA member gave a presentation of their operations, services provided, etc., followed by a WTCA Headquarters update and a discussion on how to stimulate more reciprocity, certification, brand compliance, and attendance at WTCA hosted events. The meeting confirmed the increasing cohesiveness of the Mexican WTC Network of licensees and their desire to cooperate with one another.
Another discussion topic was the recently formed Pacific Alliance trade agreement between the countries of Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru and the upcoming Pacific Alliance Conference in Lima, November 3. The meeting will be opened by President Garcia of Peru, and is expected to attract a number of senior politicians and representatives from the business community. We are hoping for good participation from the WTC Operations in these four countries, as well as from our other Latin American WTC Licensees.
In conjunction with the conference, there will be a Latin American regional meeting on November 4.
The trip continued to WTC Veracruz, where we met with the entire senior management team including President Gilberto Jesus, CEO Lucia Fernanda, Planning Manager Beatriz Castellanos, Operations Director Sergio Cesar and others, including Secretary of Tourism Harry Grappa. We were given a tour of the impressive exhibition halls, convention center, office facilities and trade services department. The Mayor of Veracruz and other senior municipal executives later joined the group to discuss how to further develop their presence in the city.
There was also a well-attended and publicized press conference with representatives’ from Xalapa, the Capital City of the state of Veracruz and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to open a WTC Operation in the city.
The visit to Mexico was concluded by a visit to Villahermosa, Capital city of the state of Tabasco where we met with representatives of a group seeking a license for this city and were given a tour of the proposed location of a future WTC Operation.
In San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we attended a meeting arranged by Sofia Rovira, President of WTC San Pedro Sula and some twenty of the leading representatives of local government, key associations, large companies and other important stakeholders in the city. World Trade Center San Pedro Sula has secured the land with the future facility in a planning stage. The meeting’s participants showed great eagerness to support the start-up of the WTC San Pedro Sula and the important role such a world trade center could play for the city.
The next stop was the WTC San Salvador in El Salvador. Their facility consists of several impressive branded facilities including several office towers, a Crown Plaza Hotel, and a large food court. The tour was followed by an interesting discussion with WTC San Salvador Director Ricardo Augspurg Meza and Director of Regional Real Estate Operations León Moncada on how to enhance the cooperation with the other World Trade Centers Operations in the region.
The trip ended in Guatemala City, home to the newly approved option holder for the WTC Guatemala City. Meetings held in the Guatemala City focused on proposed locations and business model for a new WTC Operation in the city.
In conclusion, it is clear that we are seeing the formation of a strong and reciprocal network in Mexico and with an emerging presence in Central America. These regions in combination with our existing licenses in South America forms a vibrant and expanding network of 41 WTC Operations with a significant development potential.
For more information about WTC Operations in Latin America, please contact Regional Development Manager Latin America, Carlos Ronderos, at firstname.lastname@example.org.