Dear Valued Members:
On behalf of my colleagues at the WTCA Headquarters, I would like to thank everyone for their participation in the 2012 WTCA CIFIT program held from September 7-10 in Xiamen, China. The program attracted more than 80 delegates of 17 World Trade Centers (WTCs) from North America, Europe, and Asia. Organized by the Ministry of Commerce of China, CIFIT is a top international investment and trade platform in China, which is held annually from September 8-11. In recognition of the event’s importance, WTCA entered into a strategic partnership with the CIFIT Organizing Committee last September. With the full support of CIFIT and World Trade Center (WTC) teams from the Greater China region, WTCA established a WTCA Pavilion at CIFIT to showcase the global WTCA network and the presence of each participating WTC, and organized a series of promotion and facilitation platforms. These platforms included a WTCA Forum in which Mr. Long Yongtu, a leading expert in international investment and trade, participated; high-level meetings with Chinese government and business leaders; regional investment environment introductions; and matchmaking sessions for trade missions.
To view the event photographs, please click here.
Below is a brief recap of the highlights that defined the 2012 WTCA CIFIT program.
The meeting attracted more than 80 representatives from 17 World Trade Centers (WTCs) from North America, Europe, and Asia. Mr. Ghazi Abu Nahl, chairman of WTCA, Mr. Eric Dahl, CEO of WTCA, and Ms. Annie Wu, board member of WTCA, led the WTCA delegation. Participating WTCs included WTC Beijing, WTC Changchun (option), WTC Chengdu, China WTC (Beijing), WTC Chongqing, WTC Dandong, WTC Jiaxing, WTC Manila, WTC Nanjing, WTC Quanzhou, WTC San Diego, WTC St. Petersburg, WTC Tacoma, WTC Taichung, WTC Taipei, WTC Tianjin, and WTC Wuxi.
The WTCA Pavilion
The WTCA Pavilion displayed graphics to illustrate WTCA branding, the Association’s mission to facilitate international trade and investment, WTCA’s history of development, a WTCA global map, images of all participating WTCs, a WTCA promotional video, and independent stands for six sponsoring WTCs. The ribbon-cutting opening ceremony, held on the morning of September 8, was attended by Mr. Jiang Yaoping, vice minister of commerce of China, WTCA leadership, and local government officials. During CIFIT, the WTCA Pavilion was visited by thousands of business and government representatives from China and the rest of the world.
The WTCA Forum
Themed “World Trade Center Global Network – City Landmark and Trade Facilitator,” the WTCA Forum at CIFIT was held on the morning of September 9 and featured Mr. Long Yongtu, chief negotiator for China’s accession to the WTO and former vice minister of MOFCOM, China, who made a keynote speech on the Chinese economy, and international investment and trade. Two leading WTCs in the Greater China region – China WTC (Beijing) and WTC Taipei – shared their successful experiences with the audience. Mr. Abu Nahl delivered the welcoming remarks. Mr. Dahl gave an introduction of WTCA and WTC core functionality. In addition, a panel of representatives from WTC Beijing, WTC Chongqing, WTC Nanjing and WTC San Diego introduced their operations and best practices. The WTCA Forum was moderated by Ms. Annie Wu and attended by delegates from participating WTCs, business representatives from different regions of China, and media reporters.
Dialogue and Networking
A dialogue between the WTCA leadership and attending WTCs was held on the afternoon of September 8. WTC delegates had the opportunity to share their suggestions for the WTCA Board and HQ. WTC Manila provided a briefing of its preparation work for the 2013 Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM). Mr. Scott Wang introduced a WTC Management Workshop program, which is scheduled to take place in early January 2013. After the dialogue session, the delegates attended a WTCA reception and welcome dinner. The delegates made further connections with each other at the lunch and dinner programs organized during CIFIT. The dialogue and networking sessions facilitated communication between the WTCA Board/HQ and members and strengthened relationships between attending members.
During CIFIT, the WTCA leadership conducted a number of high-level meetings with senior Chinese government and business leaders, which included Ms. Sun Chunlan, party secretary of Fujian province; Mr. Yang Yimin, mayor of Fuzhou; Mr. He Baoxiang, vice governor of Hunan province; Mr. Chen Heping, vice mayor of Chongqing; and other senior provincial and local government officials to discuss collaboration with CIFIT and potential WTCA expansion in the China region.
WTC Quanzhou Visit
Led by Mr. Dahl, more than 30 WTC delegates visited WTC Quanzhou on the afternoon of September 9. The delegation was received by Mr. Liu Wenru, mayor of Jinjiang in Fujian province.
World Real Estate Forum
Mr. Dahl attended the World Real Estate Forum during CIFIT on the afternoon of September 9. During the panel discussions, he introduced WTCA to attending commercial real estate developers and business representatives. Mr. Dahl also highlighted the difference that WTC projects could make in the competitive Chinese commercial real estate market, which was widely reported by the media.
Trade Mission Program
Organized by WTC San Diego, a 12-member trade mission delegation attended the WTCA CIFIT program. The delegation visited Xiamen Porch Hi-tech Zone and attended matchmaking sessions with local companies. Part of the trade mission group also attended a foreign investment introduction session organized by CIFIT to promote a port development project, along with representatives from WTC Nanjing who introduced investment opportunities in New York. After CIFIT, the WTC San Diego trade mission group visited Nanjing, Changzhou and Shanghai for various business and matchmaking activities organized by hosting WTCs in the respective cities. The WTC Nanjing program also included a signing ceremony between WTC Nanjing and the Federation of Industry and Commerce Nanjing Chapter, which Mr. Eric Dahl and Mr. Scott Wang joined.
As part of the WTCA CIFIT program, WTCA published a 28-page WTCA CIFIT brochure, which includes a WTCA/WTC description, and an introduction of participating WTCs and trade mission companies. In addition, WTCA launched its first official corporate brochure in Chinese during CIFIT. The 20-page brochure showed the WTCA’s history, WTCA’s global membership landscape, an introduction to a WTC’s core functionality and membership application information. Both brochures were widely distributed during CIFIT.
The WTCA participation in CIFIT was reported by numerous national and local media including China’s Xinhua News Agency (the official news agency of China), China Central TV Station (CCTV), China Daily (the largest English-language newspaper of China), and many others.
The WTCA CIFIT program was sponsored and supported by WTC Beijing, China WTC (Beijing), WTC Nanjing, WTC Quanzhou, WTC San Diego, WTC Taipei and WTC Wuxi. The supporting team greatly contributed to the success of the program.
We look forward to seeing you at a future WTCA-sanctioned event.
WTCA Business Development Executive, Asia