Featured News

Space Era Wins World Trade Centers Association Foundation’s 2021-2022 ‘Peace Through Trade’ Student Competition

Architect student initiative aims to address the global housing crisis faced by people forcibly displaced
Nov 03, 2022

New York, NY (November 3, 2022) – The World Trade Centers Association® Foundation (WTCAF) is proud to announce architectural shelter-tech start-up, Space Era, as the winner of its third annual “Peace Through Trade” Student Competition.

The competition program is designed to identify and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders from the 300-plus cities where a World Trade Center® (WTC®)-branded business is located. Student teams are invited to present original projects, products or other innovative ideas that exemplify and promote social innovation and sustainability through collaboration, fair trade, and ethical international business practices by addressing at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

New for the third annual competition, in collaboration with the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), the program was open to students around the world — including the UNAI’s vibrant and diverse network of more than 1,400 member institutions in more than 147 countries that reach over 25 million people, comprised of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, institutions of higher education, continuing education and educational associations.

“The submissions to the annual WTCAF ‘Peace Through Trade’ student competition are always inspirational, and this year’s winners are no exception,” said Andrea Garwood, Chair of the WTCAF Board of Directors. “This competition allows innovative entrepreneurial students to share their vision with a global professional network of key leaders and the WTCA community, and helps us to fulfill our mission of bringing peace through trade. We would like to thank all participants for their valuable contribution to this year’s competition.” 

The winner, Space Era, is an initiative that aims to address the global housing crisis faced by people forcibly displaced during the pandemic, climate change and other humanitarian emergencies. Founded by Kaif Ali, an architect student at Jamia Millia Islamia Central University, Space Era will use sustainable materials, technology, cradle-to-cradle strategies, and innovative approaches — such as modular prefab technology, including shipping containers and insulation panels — to provide rapid, affordable housing solutions that ensure the standard of living and humanitarian rights.

The first runner-up, Papaya, aims to improve the menstruation experience by providing quality, sustainable and empowering solutions, as well as breaking menstrual stigma and taboos. Founded by Victoire Ambeza, Shagun Maheshwari and Suhani Jalota, students at Stanford University and Anant National University, Papaya will support menstrual awareness workshops and provide access to safe and sustainable hygiene products throughout low-income communities in India. 

“Space Era is a perfect fit for what the Foundation hopes to achieve with the ‘Peace Through Trade Competition.’ The WTCA has a large number of members who are focused on real estate, so there is a natural affinity with a project that has its roots in housing solutions. The project is not just about shelter for displaced persons, but instead, it’s about providing dignity and privacy while addressing several of the UN SDGs. Calamity knows no borders, so Space Era can scale borders easily and can fully take advantage of the vast WTCA network that encompasses all the continents,” added Garwood.

Space Era received a USD $3,000 cash prize to support its foundation, while Papaya was awarded USD $1,500 as the first runner-up. Space Era also has the opportunity to be interviewed by Robin van Puyenbroeck, WTCA Executive Director-Business Development, on the “WTCA Trade Wins” podcast

"We are highly obliged to be selected as the winner of this prestigious competition. Space Era is a perfect B2G youth-led initiative that is contributing towards humanitarian issues with innovative approaches as well as incorporating strategies revolving around the SDGs. Space Era's core mission is to work towards the Universal declaration of human rights “Article 25” to provide a standard of living and basic necessity of a human “HOME.” We will utilize the support from the foundation for further research and development of our housing solutions. Moreover, I would like to further invite the foundation and its network to explore work together towards these triggering issues to accelerate our journey to impact society socially, economically and environmentally, and make a perfect case study towards SDG17 “Partnership for the Goals," stated Space Era Founder Kaif Ali.

The 2021-2022 WTCA Foundation “Peace Through Trade” Student Competition winners were announced during the 2022 WTCA Member Forum — held on October 23-25 in New York City — and presented their projects virtually to attendees worldwide. Over two days, nearly 300 registered attendees across more than 120 World Trade Center businesses in 49 countries around the world gathered for this year's hybrid business conference — with 80 attendees in person in New York City for the first time in three years. 

For more information about the WTCAF and its annual Peace Through Trade Competition, visit www.wtcafoundation.org

MEDIA CONTACTS: 

World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

Chanelle Kasik

Phone: +1 212 432 2644

Email: ckasik@wtca.org

Violet PR

David Margolis

Phone: +1 917 331 4855

Email: david@violetpr.com

About World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center” and “WTC” trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit www.wtca.org.

About World Trade Centers Association Foundation (WTCAF)
The World Trade Centers Association Foundation (WTCAF) is a private, U.S. tax-exempt, charitable organization (501c) founded in 2007, the mission of which is to conduct programs that promote social welfare in the pursuit and support of activities that foster peace and social stability. The WTCAF makes a difference by encouraging a better understanding of international trade; promoting and developing sustainable farming, energy, and transportation and trading activities; elevating the standard of living in less developed countries; and promoting ethical international business practices. To learn more visit www.wtcafoundation.org.


Members from 120-Plus World Trade Center Businesses Reconnect at the 2022 World Trade Centers Association Member Forum in New York

Nearly 300 attendees from 49 countries gathered for the hybrid event
Nov 01, 2022

New York, NY (November 1, 2022) — The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®), an international trade organization that connects over 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) locations in nearly 100 countries, hosted its 2022 WTCA Member Forum on October 23-25 in New York City. Nearly 300 registered attendees across more than 120 World Trade Center businesses in 49 countries around the world gathered for this year's two-day hybrid event — with 80 attendees in person in New York City for the first time in three years.  

With the theme of “Innovation & Connection: Celebrating the Power of the Network,” the forum was an engaging and insightful experience that allowed members to reconnect and demonstrated the resilience and global reach of the WTCA network.  

The WTCA introduced its newest members and the WTCA Chair, New York Executive Team, Regional Advisory Councils, WTCA regional teams, and Member Advisory Councils provided important updates to attendees about what’s to come in 2023. Highlights from the forum included two media training workshops; Member Flash Presentations where WTCA members shared best practices and updates on their WTC business initiatives focused on “Connection” and “Innovation;” a discussion on how the WTCA and its membership can work together to promote sustainable measures; a brainstorm session on how to celebrate WTCA Day (June 12) moving forward; a discussion of priorities for the North American region; and fun facts about several WTCA members during "Late Night with the WTCA," featuring host Scott Center of WTC Savannah. Space Era , an initiative to address the global housing crisis, was also announced as the winner of the 2021-2022 WTCA Foundation “Peace Through Trade” Student Competition .

The forum concluded with an official kickoff from H.R.H. Togbe Afede XIV to count down to the 53rd annual General Assembly (GA) hosted by WTC Accra on April 23-28, 2023. With the theme of "Towards African Economic Integration and Enhanced Global Presence," the 2023 GA will focus on business opportunities across the continent of Africa, bringing together new and expanded opportunities not only to/from Ghana but all nations. The GA promises to be a unique and engaging event, demonstrating the strength of the WTCA network, and is the perfect opportunity to showcase African companies on a global stage.

"It was wonderful to welcome back our members to our headquarters in New York City to network, share their expertise and learn new skills at our first worldwide, in-person event since before the pandemic," said John E. Drew, WTCA Chair, Board of Directors. "This year’s forum proved how resilient our global network is and that we enjoy great success as a whole association when we can strengthen connections on a global scale – there is no substitution to the value of seeing each other in-person. We look forward to reconnecting again in a few months in Accra to explore what makes Africa an investment destination and invite African companies to share their exciting business opportunities with our global WTCA network at next year’s GA."   

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

Chanelle Kasik

Phone: +1 212 432 2644

Email: ckasik@wtca.org  

Violet PR

David Margolis

Phone: +1 917 331 4855

Email: david@violetpr.com

About World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center” and “WTC” trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit www.wtca.org.

Wtca Member Forum Portrait Photographer April Renae 2022 1 Websize

Attendees at the 2022 WTCA Member Forum held in NYC and virtually October 23-25, 2022. Photo Credit: April Renae Photography


World Trade Center® Businesses Gather in Guadalajara, Mexico to Discuss Logistics in Latin America

Event focused on the exchange of ideas to strengthen global value chains in foreign trade
Oct 12, 2022

New York, NY (October 12, 2022) — The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®) — a global network connecting over 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) locations in nearly 100 countries — hosted World Trade Center businesses across Latin America for the "Point WTC Guadalajara 2022: Logistics Challenges in Latin America / WTCA Latin America Regional Meeting" on September 22-23, 2022 to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing logistics operations in the Americas.

A total of 30 WTCA Member representatives from 25 WTC locations in Latin America gathered in person in Guadalajara, Mexico — home to WTC Guadalajara, an important logistics hub for the movement of goods in Latin America — for the first time in nearly three years to attend the seminar on the challenges and opportunities facing logistics operations. WTCA Members across Latin America also showcased their developments and business models; introduced new topics around free trade agreements and the financing of WTC-branded projects; and shared best practices on how to work efficiently in a virtual environment and how to become B Corp certified. The seminar was also livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.

Panel discussions focused on topics such as challenges in the post-COVID era for maritime and air cargo industries, logistics challenges deriving from cross-border e-commerce, how to rebuild disrupted global supply chains and the opportunities for U.S. and Latin American companies with nearshoring as an option to reconfigure Global Value Chains (GVCs). Expert speakers included Jorge Acevedo, President and CEO of WTC Nuevo Laredo and WTC Guanajuato; Jimmy Avendaño, Fulfillment Officer at Amazon-USA; Luis Avilés, Senior Executive at the Air Service Development Houston Airport System; Jaime Granados, Head of Trade and Investment Division of the Integration and Trade Sector of the Inter-American Development Bank; Federico Lepe, General Manager at WTC Guadalajara; Jorge Morones, CEO of WeCargo Technologies; Edgar Patiño, former Chairman of the Peruvian National Port Authority; Michelle Porrino, Executive Director at WTC San Luis Potosí; Yiovan Reynoso, Director of the Logistics Committee at Index Guanajuato; Xavier Rius, Executive Chairman of the Institute for Careers and Innovation in Logistics Spain; Aurelio López Rocha, Chairman of WTC Guadalajara; Carlos Ronderos, Regional Director-Latin America at the WTCA; Augusto Solano, Chairman of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters (Asocolflores); Javier Solis, Managing Director of WTC Nuevo Laredo; and Robin van Puyenbroeck, Executive Director-Business Development of the WTCA.

“There is a revolution in the world of e-commerce that has no limit. It is a situation that all companies must take advantage of, but especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the largest generators of employment in Latin America. There is a golden opportunity for them to enter international markets and being a part of the WTCA can open many doors,” reflected Carlos Ronderos, Regional Director-Latin America at the WTCA.

During the event, Jaime Granados, Head of Trade and Investment Division of the Integration and Trade Sector of the Inter-American Development Bank, stressed that, “Cross-border e-commerce in Latin America grew by 40% from 2020 to 2021. However, this growth is low compared to other regions worldwide, which demonstrates that the region still has great opportunities to continue promoting its growth in the international market, including nearshoring.”

The event follows the recent Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) the WTCA signed with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) to formalize its cooperation in facilitating and promoting global trade by combining the strengths of the ITA’s and the WTCA’s global networks. This partnership will help further drive corporate investment and trade opportunities for U.S. companies seeking to increase exports and imports.

“The WTCA, along with WTC Guadalajara, is proud to have hosted leaders from Latin America for an insightful exchange of ideas that will benefit businesses in the Americas,” said Robin van Puyenbroeck, WTCA Executive Director-Business Development, who also moderated a discussion on logistics with WTC businesses serving as first-class logistical hubs. “This seminar furthered the WTCA’s goal to help local economies across the globe and greatly amplified our WTC brand value proposition in the world of logistics.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

Chanelle Kasik

Phone: +1 212 432 2644

Email: ckasik@wtca.org

Violet PR

David Margolis

Phone: +1 917 331 4855

Email: david@violetpr.com

About World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®)

The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center” and “WTC” trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for Members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its Members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit www.wtca.org.


2022 World Trade Centers Association Member Forum Returns to New York City for First Time in Two Years

The forum will feature networking, workshops and more — presented in-person and virtually for WTCA Members around the world
Oct 03, 2022

New York, NY (October 3, 2022) — The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®), an international trade organization that connects over 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) locations in nearly 100 countries, announced today that it will host its 2022 WTCA Member Forum from October 23-25 in-person in New York City for the first time in two years, as well as provide virtual access for its members around the world. With the theme of “Innovation & Connection: Celebrating the Power of the Network,” this year’s event promises to be an engaging and insightful experience — allowing members to reconnect — and demonstrates the resilience and global reach of the WTCA network. Programming for this hybrid global event will feature networking, workshops and more to help attendees expand their business.

The WTCA Member Forum is one of the Association's flagship events, gathering representatives from member World Trade Center® businesses, as well as renowned experts. “We are excited to welcome back our members to our headquarters in New York City to network, share ideas and learn new skills at our first worldwide, in-person event since before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said John E. Drew, Chair, Board of Directors of the WTCA. “This year’s program will bring focus to the WTCA members themselves, offering invaluable insight on what is happening around the global network, as well as opportunities for them to foster and strengthen global connections.”

Attending the three-day WTCA Member Forum, either in-person or virtually, offers many benefits. Attendees will be able to reconnect with fellow WTCA Members — the association’s greatest resource — as well as gain insights on how they adapted during the pandemic and hear updates from the WTCA executive leadership team. In addition to a welcome cocktail reception, networking breakfasts and lunches, and other social events to break bread with fellow Members, the agenda offers two media training workshops led by Shirley Muir, a former journalist and current public relations consultant. During these sessions, attendees will learn how to develop an effective PR strategy to manage negative news and garner positive media coverage to raise their organization's profile. The winners of the 2021-2022 WTCA Foundation “Peace Through Trade” Student Competition will also be announced, and the event will conclude with a unique presentation to officially kick off the countdown to the 53rd annual General Assembly (GA) to be hosted by WTC Accra (April 23-28, 2023), along with new GA promotional and educational programs offered by the WTCA.

“Throughout the pandemic, we were able to shift our events to a virtual format, gathering record-breaking numbers in member attendance. We are thrilled to finally be able to resume our in-person events, with limited attendance and strong safety measures in place, as well as provide digital access for those who cannot make it to New York City,” said Crystal Edn, WTCA Director of Member Services. “Our members are eager to meet again in person, and we look forward to honoring their resilience and connection to each other at this year’s event.”

For more information about the 2022 WTCA Member Forum and to view the complete agenda and event safety measures, please click here. Also, follow along on social media #WTCAMemberForum.

This year's event is only open to WTCA Members, including license holders and staff of World Trade Center businesses. WTCA Members can register here.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

Chanelle Kasik

Phone: +1 212 432 2644

Email: ckasik@wtca.org

Violet PR

David Margolis

Phone: +1 917 331 4855

Email: david@violetpr.com

About World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center” and “WTC” trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for Members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its Members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit www.wtca.org.


World Trade Centers Association Participates in 2022 CIFTIS and CIFIT, Two Leading International Fairs in Trade and Investment in China, to Provide Access to the Chinese Market for its Global Network

Sep 14, 2022

Beijing and Xiamen, China (September 14, 2022) The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®) — a global network of more than 300 highly-connected, mutually supportive businesses and organizations — recently participated in two leading international platforms in trade and investment — the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) held in Beijing, China from August 31 – September 5, 2022 and the 2022 China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) held in Xiamen, China from September 7-11, 2022. The former, CIFTIS, focuses on fast-growing and emerging areas of service trade, and is hosted annually by the China Ministry of Commerce and Beijing Municipal Government. The latter, CIFIT, focuses on connecting investors, traders, service providers and government agencies to China and the rest of the world, and is hosted annually by the China Ministry of Commerce.

Since 2016, the WTCA has served as an official international partner of CIFTIS to organize forums with its WTCA members and local partners. Earlier this year in May, the WTCA successfully co-hosted the North American leg of the 2022 CIFTIS global roadshow to learn about the opportunities and challenges of the Chinese trade service market and how CIFTIS plays a role to facilitate connections. The association has also participated in CIFIT for the past 11 consecutive years in trade missions and forums to provide access to the Chinese market for its WTC members and their business networks.

WTCA Executive Director-Business Development Robin van Puyenbroeck delivered opening remarks at both international conferences in which he commended cooperation in the healthcare sector and stressed the importance of regional economic integration platforms such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

During this year’s CIFTIS, the WTCA co-hosted the “China International Healthcare Industry Development and Investment Forum.” With the theme of “Innovative Medical Services to Help Building a Community of Health for All” – hosted in partnership with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products, the Beijing Association for Trade in Services and the Huahe International Business Consultancy – the hybrid forum drew a virtual attendance of more than 250,000 viewers on the live broadcast channel.

During this year’s CIFIT, the WTCA co-hosted the “21st World Business Leaders’ Roundtable” with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the CIFIT Organizing Committee for the eighth consecutive year with the theme of “RCEP: A New Vision for Regional Cooperation and Development.” In addition, the WTCA co-hosted the “2022 Fujian­­—Maritime Silk Road International Economic & Trade Cooperation Matching Symposium (RCEP Special Session)” with CCPIT Fujian with the theme of “Sharing Development Opportunities and Expanding Areas of RCEP Cooperation.”

“After taking effect at the beginning of this year, the RCEP became the world’s largest regional free-trade agreement encompassing ASEAN and major trading powers such as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, which resulted in the formation of the world’s largest trading bloc comprised of 30% of the global GDP and 30% of the global population. I would like to congratulate China and other RCEP member countries for this marvelous achievement – and I firmly believe that the implementation of the agreement will boost the international trade and investment for the region as well as the world. This achievement also demonstrates China’s determination to further liberalize trade to deepen its economic integration within the rest of the world, which will surely bring tremendous benefits to businesses throughout the RCEP region,” said Mr. van Puyenbroeck during his keynote remarks.

MEDIA CONTACT:

World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)
Chanelle Kasik
Phone: +1 212 432 2644
Email: ckasik@wtca.org

About World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)

The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected, mutually supporting businesses and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center” and “WTC” trademarks, the WTCA licenses exclusive rights to these brands for Members to use in conjunction with their independently-owned, iconic properties, facilities and trade services offerings. Through a robust portfolio of events, programming and resources that it offers its Members, the goal of the WTCA is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment across the globe through Member engagement. To learn more, visit www.wtca.org.