Featured News

World Trade Centers Association Honored for Dedication to International Trade and Investment by Diane Farrell, Acting Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce

Certificate of Appreciation presented virtually at the 2021 WTCA Member Forum
Nov 22, 2021

New York, NY (November 22, 2021) The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) — a global network of more than 300 highly-connected, mutually supportive businesses and organizations — was recently awarded with a Certificate of Appreciation for its timeless dedication to intercultural understanding, and international trade and investment by the International Trade Administration (ITA). The award was presented by Diane Farrell, Acting Under Secretary and the Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade of the U.S. Department of Commerce, along with the U.S. Commercial Service New York and ITA teams. The WTCA’s John E. Drew, Chairman of the Board of Directors; and Robin van Puyenbroeck, Executive Director-Business Development, accepted the award on behalf of the association at the 2021 WTCA Member Forum , where nearly 600 participants gathered virtually across 117 World Trade Center locations in 50 countries around the world.

“Created in 2002, the certificate recognizes foreign business partners, trade associations, U.S. government agencies and other qualified recipients for supporting U.S. export development and creating opportunities for U.S businesses through trade,” stated Diane Farrell during the presentation ceremony. “A valued partner of the U.S. Commercial Service New York for more than 20 years, the WTCA is being recognized today for its unwavering dedication to and success in international trade promotion in the face of adversity. Similar to the association’s resilience following the tragic events of September 11, the global network came together as ‘one WTCA’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — sharing resources, best practices and strategies to aid their local economies — symbolizing strength, hope, prosperity and resilience during these uncertain times.”

The WTCA and its global network of member World Trade Center businesses are dedicated to the facilitation of global trade. A World Trade Center location can supply businesses with access to international trade services and facilities, organize trade delegations, or facilitate trade by bringing together the offices of government and industry. The WTCA partners with leading industry organizations and initiatives such as the Global Trade Helpdesk, which is developed jointly by the World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and International Trade Centre (ITC). As an active Participant in the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact) the WTCA also stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles and brings together businesses in support of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Further, during the pandemic, the WTCA has hosted three virtual global events rooted in global trade and introduced an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered B2B matchmaking platform to facilitate the virtual networking component of the programs to connect attendees in a new environment, and launched its new WTCA “Trade Wins” Podcast series, which features thought-provoking conversations with leading experts to navigate today’s changing environment.

“On behalf of the WTCA and its members, I am honored to accept this certificate,” said John E. Drew, WTCA Chair, Board of Directors. “We would like to thank Diane Farrell of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the ITA and U.S. Commercial Service New York teams, for this grand recognition. It has been a pleasure partnering with these organizations over the past two decades, and we look forward to growing our relationship to further showcase the important role that trade plays in our national economy.”

Robin van Puyenbroeck, WTCA Executive Director-Business Development, emphasized: “We are humbled by this recognition and greatly value our partnership with the ITA and the U.S. Commercial Service teams serving around the world. There is tremendous synergy with our association serving as a true beehive of economic activity and an effective global network facilitating business every day. We are an incredibly diverse organization comprised of an ecosystem of economic development agencies, real estate developers, universities, logistical hubs, airports, free zones, conference and exhibition centers, and more. This award goes out to all of our members for their hard work over the years to reaffirm our association’s mission to connect globally and prosper locally.”

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 91 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.

International Trade Administration (ITA)
The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. The U.S. Commercial Service is the export promotion arm of the International Trade Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information on ITA and the U.S. Commercial Service visit www.trade.gov.


World Trade Centers Association Foundation Launches Third Annual “Peace Through Trade” Student Competition and Expands Global Reach for Student Applicants

2021-2022 competition now open to all students aged 18-29 located around the world in collaboration with the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI)
Oct 25, 2021

New York, NY (October 25, 2021) — The World Trade Centers Association Foundation (WTCAF) is proud to announce the launch of its third annual “Peace Through Trade” student competition — a program designed to identify and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders from the 300-plus cities where a World Trade Center branded business is located. Members from the World Trade Centers Association’s (WTCA) global network spanning more than 100 countries have the opportunity to submit projects from local students to compete in the program and become champions of global trade. New this year, in collaboration with the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) , the program is open to all 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 Peace Through Trade competition is designed to help grow and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs while promoting ethical and sustainable international business practices that will impact their communities,” said Catherine Lee, Chair of the WTCAF Board of Directors. “The WTCAF recognizes the value of being at the forefront of nurturing innovation at a young age and in an effort to further our engagement with young leaders and innovators, we are excited to expand the reach of our global student competition and collaborate with the UNAI to extend the invitation to its network.”

Student teams are encouraged to submit their applications for this year’s competition 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. Projects must also address at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , such as no poverty, zero hunger, and sustainable cities and communities. Interested student teams can contact the foundation at foundation@wtca.org . Eligible applicants must be individuals, or teams of individuals made up of not more than four members; be a member of any college, university, trade school or other educational institution between the ages of 18-29 at the time of the submission deadline; be able to present their project in PowerPoint or other similar format (no more than 20 slides); and be able to present their project via video conference to the WTCAF Board. The submission period for the 2021-2022 competition runs from October 25, 2021 through January 31, 2022. There are no fees associated for students to participate in this year’s competition. Entries must be in English and only one submission per individual/team of individuals will be accepted.

The winning team will be awarded a cash prize of USD $3,000 — to be distributed evenly amongst team members — along with an opportunity to participate in the WTCA’s 2022 virtual General Assembly to be held April 11-15 of that year — the association’s premier global annual event, gathering representatives from WTCA members and their business networks including leaders from business, government, academia, media and international organizations, reflecting the WTCA's diverse global footprint. They will have the opportunity to present their idea virtually to a global audience and be honored by attendees during the event. They will also be featured in a future episode of the global WTCA “Trade Wins” Podcast and receive a certificate of recognition by the WTCAF Board. The first runner-up team will be awarded a cash prize of USD $1,500 — also to be distributed evenly amongst team members — and a certificate of recognition by the WTCAF Board.

“The WTCAF’s global initiative aligns with the UNAI’s mission to support and contribute to the realization of the United Nations’ 17 SDGs and mandates by harnessing the energy and innovation of young people,” said Robin van Puyenbroeck, Director of the WTCA Foundation and also Executive Director-Business Development at the WTCA. “This year’s program will provide thousands of students around the world the opportunity to access a global professional network of key leaders and share their vision with a global audience of leaders and policymakers. We very much look forward to great participation and a successful, inspiring competition.”

For more information about the 2021-2022 WTCAF “Peace Through Trade” Competition, please visit https://wtca.swoogo.com/2021PeaceThroughTrade .

MEDIA CONTACT:

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

About World Trade Centers Association Foundation

The World Trade Centers Association Foundation (WTCAF) is a private, U.S. tax-exempt, charitable organization (501c3) 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.

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 91 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 Announces New Additions to Its Diverse Group of Board of Directors

World Trade Center executives located around the world join to grow the global network and shape the future of the association
Sep 17, 2021

New York, NY (September 17, 2021) — The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) — a global network of more than 300 highly-connected, mutually supportive businesses and organizations — recently announced its newest lineup of Board of Directors for 2021-2025. All eligible WTCA members across nearly 100 countries were encouraged to learn about candidates and their views on how they would govern and lead the association if elected, and submit one ballot to fill each of the 12 open seats — representing more than half of the Board’s 22 Director seats. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the election process took place virtually during a 30-day voting period via a secure online voting service.

“On behalf of the WTCA Board of Directors, I want to thank every WTCA Member who voted in this year’s Board Election. More than 67% of our membership took the time to participate in this important event, which was held entirely online for the first time,” said John E. Drew, WTCA Chair, Board of Directors. “We had 23 exceptional candidates running for the 12 open seats on our Board, and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of people who are willing to volunteer their services to be an active part of our association. The WTCA is best served when its Board represents the diversity of its global members. And we look forward to this new Board – comprised of men and women across six continents who operate World Trade Centers – and all that they will accomplish to represent our global network and promote prosperity through international trade.”

The winning candidates in this year’s WTCA Board of Directors Election are as follows (listed in alphabetical order by region):

Asia Pacific Region:

  • Ms. Pamela Pascual (World Trade Center Metro Manila)
  • Mr. Simon Wang (World Trade Center Taipei)
Europe Region:
  • Mr. Ed Allison-Wright (World Trade Center Gibraltar)
  • Mr. Rolf Draak (World Trade Center Nice)
  • Mr. Mehran Eftekhar (World Trade Center Cyprus)
  • Mr. Haluk Kanca (World Trade Center Istanbul)
  • Ms. Cristina Sbaizero (World Trade Center Trieste)
Latin America Region:
  • Mr. Ignacio Del (World Trade Center Montevideo)
  • Mr. Eugenio Jose Reyes-Guzmán (World Trade Center Monterrey)

Middle East-Africa Region:

  • Mr. Ghazi Abu Nahl (World Trade Center Amman)

North America Region:

  • Mr. Scott Center (World Trade Center Savannah)
  • Ms. Karen Gerwitz (World Trade Center Denver) 

The newly elected or re-elected individuals will join our current active Directors — Mr. Togbe Afede (World Trade Center Accra), Mr. Freerk Faber (World Trade Center Twente), Mr. Vijay Kalantri (World Trade Center Mumbai), Ms. Catherine Lee (World Trade Center Suzhou), Mr. Luciano Menezes (World Trade Center Curitiba), Ms. Mariette Mulaire (World Trade Center Winnipeg), Ms. Khair Ull Nissa Sheikh (World Trade Center Noida), Mr. Remy Swaab (World Trade Center Panama), and Mr. John E. Drew (World Trade Center Washington, D.C.) – in the important task of setting the priorities and initiatives to grow the association and serve the interests of its global Membership.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation to those Directors who are leaving our Board: Mr. Pedro Pablo Alamos Zañartu (World Trade Center Santiago), Ms. Andrea Garwood (World Trade Center Trieste), Mr. Didier Kling (World Trade Center Paris) and Mr. Lew Cramer (World Trade Center Utah),” added Mr. Drew. “We have all benefited from their years of volunteer service on the Board and its committees, and their innumerable contributions that have led to the success of our association.”

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 91 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 Stresses Rise of Digital Globalization in Trade at 2021 CIFTIS and CIFIT, Two Leading International Conferences in Trade and Investment in China

Executive Director-Business Development Robin van Puyenbroeck delivers keynote address at both international conferences held September 2-11
Sep 15, 2021

Beijing and Xiamen, China (September 15, 2021) — 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 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) held in Beijing, China from September 2-7, 2021 and the 2021 China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) held in Xiamen, China from September 8-11, 2021. 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.

WTCA Executive Director-Business Development Robin van Puyenbroeck delivered keynote addresses at both international conferences in which he elaborated on the rise of digital globalization and the important role China plays in stabilizing global trade.

“Over the past year and a half, we have observed the acceleration of a digital transformation due to the pandemic,” said Mr. van Puyenbroeck. “We have entered an era of ‘digital globalization’ — transforming the way we live and do our business, and, as a result, creating a different work-life balance as well. At the WTCA, we have embraced this growing trend in technology and have successfully introduced an artificial intelligence-powered B2B matchmaking platform during our recent General Assembly for our World Trade Center members and their business networks to connect in this new virtual environment. As both China and the digitalization trend continue to advance, the WTCA will continue to support innovative conferences such as CIFTIS and CIFIT, along with their commitment to showcase innovations and new developments in service trade.”

The WTCA has served as an official international partner of CIFTIS since 2016 to organize forums with its local partners and World Trade Centers. The association has also participated in CIFIT for the past 10 consecutive years to provide access to the Chinese market for its member World Trade Centers and their business networks.

During this year’s CIFTIS, the WTCA co-hosted the “China International Healthcare Industry Development and Investment Forum” with the Beijing Association for Trade in Services and leading global independent investment bank Reynold Lemkins, which drew an in-person attendance of more than 100 high-level representatives. The forum was supported by AstraZeneca China and focused on the healthcare sector within the country. Mr. van Puyenbroeck also spoke extensively on the future of global trade with major Chinese media including People’s Daily, CCTV Focus Report, CGTN and China Plus News during CIFTIS.

Separately, this year’s CIFIT attracted more than 50,000 business people both online and in-person. During the event, the WTCA co-hosted the “20th World Business Leaders’ Roundtable” with CCPIT and the CIFIT Organizing Committee for the seventh consecutive year with the theme of “Artificial Intelligence (AI) Reshaping Industries.” Speakers from Baidu, Iflytek, Huawei and other major leading AI firms discussed the technology and applications of AI chip development, cloud computing, natural language processing, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

“In today's world where we see a new form of globalization unfolding, a digital globalization, the ability for people around the world to connect with one another in a trusted environment has become an essential business necessity,” commented Mr. van Puyenbroeck during his keynote remarks. “This is where organizations like the WTCA and its incredibly resilient international network has proven an indispensable tool for business. Our mission of facilitating global trade is now more important and relevant than ever, and the increased use of technology and AI will make our global network even stronger, more interactive and effective. I look forward to further our collaboration in the years to come.”

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 91 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.

Published Coverage from 2021 CIFTIS: 

CCTV Focus Report

China Plus News
Picture Cctv Focus Report

WTCA Executive Director-Business Development Robin van Puyenbroeck speaks with CCTV Focus Report

Picture Cifit

WTCA Executive Director-Business Development Robin van Puyenbroeck keynote address at 2021 CIFIT

Picture Ciftis

WTCA Executive Director-Business Development Robin van Puyenbroeck keynote address at 2021 CIFTIS 


World Trade Centers Association Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of September 11

Sep 07, 2021

New York, NY (September 7, 2021) — The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) — an international trade organization connecting more than 300 World Trade Centers (WTCs) in nearly 100 countries — today released a statement to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001:

“This week, we are taking time to reflect upon the tragic events that happened 20 years ago — to honor the victims and give thanks to the heroes who were affected. September 11 is remembered as the day that stunned the world and will forever be deeply etched in our association’s history.

We want to take this anniversary to not only remember what happened, but to look toward the possibilities before us. We have seen communities around the world come together, standing united to remember the significance of that day every year and working hand-in-hand to overcome obstacles, most recently the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuously reminded to appreciate and support the first responders around the world — police, firefighters, healthcare workers — who unselfishly risk their own lives to assist those in need every day.

As a global network, the WTCA and its World Trade Center (WTC) members show strength by coming together and supporting each other, just as we did in the aftermath of September 11, to navigate these uncertain times and reaffirm our mission of peace and prosperity through trade and investment. The WTC brand symbolizes strength, hope, prosperity and resilience.

To further commemorate September 11, the WTCA today launched its “#WTCARemembers911” social media campaign – where WTCA members will share commemorative posts with the hashtag to pay tribute to those who were affected by the tragedy. The campaign begins today and will continue through the weekend, culminating on Sunday, September 12.

“Through this campaign, the WTCA and all of the WTCs located around the world stand united to honor the principles and values that served as the foundation of our association, and demonstrate the strength and inspiration of our connected global community,” said John E. Drew, WTCA Chair, Board of Directors. “We are proud of the interconnectivity and diversity of our global membership base, where together we stand for our principles and work together on promoting respect for one another, care and intercultural understanding.”

For more information about the WTCA and its global network, visit www.wtca.org.

For those affected by the events of September 11 who are in need of support, please visit the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), providing compensation to individuals (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who were present at the World Trade Center or the surrounding New York City Exposure Zone; the Pentagon crash site and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site, at some point between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002, and who have since been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness. The VCF is not limited to first responders. Compensation is also available to those who worked or volunteered in construction, clean-up, and debris removal; as well as people who lived, worked, or went to school in the exposure zone. Visit www.vcf.gov. Additional 9/11 health resources may be found on www.911memorial.org/connect/911-health-resources.

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 91 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.