May 21, 2018
University of Arkansas graduate Jamie Allen of Little Rock, Ark. shared her experiences and the impact of her work as an intern for the World Trade Center Arkansas on the Gateways Podcast this week.

World Trade Center intern shares experiences, impact on Gateways Podcast

May 15, 2018
The World Trade Center Arkansas (WTCAR) is expanding its partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) with a new work space at the state agency’s offices in Little Rock. “Trade is vitally important for Arkansas,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Increasing exports of Arkansas products strengthens our economy, grows Arkansas business, and creates new employment opportunities for Arkansans. This new expansion between AEDC and the World Trade Center Arkansas will ensure that our state’s flagship trade promotion agency is further empowered to help our companies gain access to the global market.” Launched in 2007, the Center was established at the University of Arkansas (UA) to help companies in the state access global markets through comprehensive trade promotion services such as market research, consultation, foreign trade mission participation, and business-to-business meetings. The Center builds upon the efforts of its partners – Hunt Ventures, AEDC, City of Rogers, UA, and Office of the Governor – to bring together businesses and government agencies in growing international trade and strengthening the worldwide presence of Arkansas. “Trade plays an integral role in our economy and is critical to economic development,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston. “More than 350,000 jobs in Arkansas are supported by trade and foreign investment, and companies in trade-related industries tend to pay higher than those that are not.” The new office will allow the Center increased access to the entire state as it seeks to improve foreign market access and trade development, WTCAR officials said. “We offer our services to companies throughout the entire state,” said Dan Hendrix, president and CEO of WTCAR. “This new office in Little Rock will help increase our effectiveness to serve clients statewide and will initially be manned by existing, rotating trade staff.” Most exporting companies in Arkansas are small businesses, and the top markets are Canada, Mexico, France, China, and the United Kingdom. The state’s largest exporting industries are agriculture, aerospace, and transportation equipment, which combined contributed to nearly half of the $6.3 billion dollars in exports in 2017. Total exported goods and services since 2007 have reached $84 billion. The Center also builds commercial diplomacy through its regular work with officials, diplomats and business leaders from foreign countries to find opportunities for Arkansas businesses. The Center’s trade directors actively advocate on behalf of exporting Arkansas companies to officials on all levels of government. Several special guests were on hand, including Japan External Trade Organization CEO Toshinaga Hirai and Lenka Horakova, Arkansas District Export Council chairman and Honorary Consulate General of the Czech Republic. The opening of the new office coincides with the International Trade Administration’s official World Trade Month throughout May. The Center will be participating with multiple trade promotion events throughout the month such as the Trade With Africa Business Summit and the Governor’s Awards For Excellence in Global Trade. ### About Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC): Created in 1955 to make Arkansas more competitive in the post-World War II era, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) seeks to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying local economies in the state, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout The Natural State. Arkansas is a pro-business environment operating leaner, faster and more focused through a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively. About World Trade Center Arkansas (WTCAR): The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas (WTCAR) is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services. The Center is part of the University of Arkansas and serves as the trade promotion arm for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC). For more information and valuable updates, please follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to the WTCAR newsletter.

World Trade Center Arkansas opens work space in AEDC capital offices

May 11, 2018
The Trade with Africa Business Summit convened in Bentonville, Ark. on Thursday and Friday this week. The summit was convened by Nazaru CEO Toyin Umesiri who designed the summit to position Arkansas as a favorable destination for African business and political leaders looking to create new partnerships in the U.S. The World Trade Center Arkansas was a sponsor for the summit and Denise Thomas, Director of Africa and Middle East Trade for the Center served as a moderator on a panel discussing opportunities for U.S. businesses on the continent. Panel experts were Shakira Motan, the trade commissioner of the South African Consulate in Chicago and Kayode Laro, Consul General of the Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta. “The summit was a huge success,” Thomas said. “Economic development is key to elevating prosperity and ultimately encouraging bilateral trade between countries. Dozens of key decision makers will be able to take what was discussed here by experts back to their home countries in Africa and implement strategies to boost economic development through sustainable commercial practices.” Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist of the World Bank for Africa gave one of the first presentations of the summit, outlining Africa’s economic projection. Zeufack was very pleased with the summit and said it was “masterfully organized and well executed.” “Professional and key leaders committed to African development gave great insight into doing business in Africa,” he said. Many of the speakers and experts were met with applause during their presentations as they told engaging stories of success or elaborated on strategies proven to make a positive difference in creating sustainable business solutions in Africa. Scott Ford, CEO of Westrock Coffee gave the keynote address sharing the story behind the creation of Westrock Coffee and Rwanda Trading Company. Ford oriented his business venture around the idea of paying farmer the most greatest amount of money for their labor to help elevate them out of poverty. Ford also served as an advisor to Rwandan President Paul Kagame to help create a positive business environment in the country. Ford strongly stressed that three principle ingredients were required for successful economic development in Africa: no corruption, the rule of law equally applied to all and the right regulatory and tax environment. Ford’s keynote was followed by general sessions led by Donnie Smith, founder of the African Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) and former CEO of Tyson Foods as well as Dale Dawson the founder of Bridge2Rwanda. Smith created ASAP to teach Africans sustainable farming practices and allows farmers to finance small chicken coops over a three years period, interest free. ASAP currently runs a feed mill and a 10,000 hen table-egg farm and will soon have a hatchery to supply better quality chickens for the growers. ASAP has already demonstrated an ability to raise the standard of living for farmers. The ultimate goal is to spread sustainable agriculture practices to counter food scarcity before Africa’s population doubles in 2050. “My mission is now to foster sustainable farming practices across the continent so that families can break the cycle of poverty and feed future generations,” Smith said. “My mission is now to foster sustainable farming practices across the continent so that families can break the cycle of poverty and feed future generations,” Smith said. Dawson launched Bridge2Rwanda to build a fellowship of globally educated leaders in Africa. It helps top high school graduates earn scholarships to study abroad, while ensuring the students return to Africa to launch their careers. The program is designed to fight the brain drain phenomena in which highly skilled, educated and intelligent people emigrate away from their home country and settle in another. Brain drain can inhibit economic development because it leads to a lack of talent and a smaller skilled workforce. Bridge2Rwanda operates on four principles to encourage foreign direct investment by developing the country's best students into future Rwandan leaders: identify promising individuals; prepare them spiritually and academically; connect them with scholarship, internship and employment opportunities; and ultimately encourage them to create new businesses, technology and infrastructure in Rwanda to increase economic prosperity. "We believe a small group of committed servant leaders with a shared vision can be a powerful force to transform their countries,” Dawson said. Many participants at the summit were highly interested in Smith’s, Ford’s and Dawson’s models for sustainable business. “Our hope is that the summit participants will use the insight from these leaders and adopt similar practices in their home countries,” Thomas said. For more information about the Trade with Africa Business Summit, visit http://www.tradewithafricabusinesssummit.com or contact Toyin Umesiri at toyin@nazaru.com or call 989-400-6711. The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services. For more information and valuable updates, please follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to the World Trade Center Arkansas newsletter.

Trade With Africa Summit Convened Global Leaders in Bentonville

May 9, 2018
Arkansas companies and higher education professionals will have the opportunity to meet with key leaders from some of Panama's most important agencies such as the Panama Canal Authority and the Ministry of Education.

World Trade Center, Walton College Invite Arkansas Companies, Educators to Panama

The World Trade Center Arkansas and the Sam. M. Walton College of Business are inviting Arkansas companies and higher education professionals to join their delegation to Panama from Aug. 8-15. The delegation will meet with the leaders of several Panama […]
April 25, 2018
export financing

RSVP To Inside Export Financing

April 25, 2018
 The mission of the World Trade Center Arkansas is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services. The Center is part of the University of Arkansas and serves as the trade promotion arm for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. For more information and valuable updates, please follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to the World Trade Center Arkansas newsletter.

World Trade Center Arkansas Signs Global Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation

World Trade Centers Association Members commit to wide collaboration in agribusiness LEEUWARDEN, NETHERLANDS | 25 APRIL 2018 – The World Trade Center Arkansas and more than two dozen World Trade Centers (WTCs) from across the globe officially signed a Memorandum […]
April 16, 2018
tariff impact

World Trade Center Arkansas Surveys State Companies on Potential Tariff Impact

April 16, 2018 – The Arkansas District Export Council and the World Trade Center Arkansas surveyed state companies to assess the potential impact of the anticipated steel and aluminum tariffs on their businesses. The center and council released the survey […]
March 26, 2018
Arkansas Rural Development Conference

2018 Arkansas Rural Development Conference

March 23, 2018   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Media Contact: Brandi Hinkle, Director of Communications Arkansas Economic Development Commission 501-519-7382 mobile or bhinkle@arkansasedc.com   Registration open for May 22-24 Arkansas Rural Development Conference in Little Rock Registration is open for […]
March 21, 2018

Governor Hutchinson Proclaims March 20, 2018 as Arkansas Ag Day

STATEWIDE, ARK. –  To recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by Arkansas’s agriculture industry, Governor Hutchinson proclaimed March 20, 2018 as Arkansas Ag Day and presented the proclamation to Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward at a ceremony today at the […]
March 19, 2018

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Steel and Aluminum Tariff Exclusion Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sunday, March 18, 2018 Office of Public Affairs (202) 482-4883 publicaffairs@doc.gov Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its procedures for excluding products from the recently announced tariffs on steel and aluminum product imports. As directed by […]
March 16, 2018

The 9 Legal Secrets Every Entrepreneur Should Know for a More Bodacious Business

March 16, 2018
tariff impact survey

World Trade Center Arkansas Seeking State Business Input on Tariff Impact

Arkansas companies who may be impacted by the proposed U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum are encouraged by the World Trade Center Arkansas and the Arkansas District Export Council to complete a short survey to provide feedback on the issue. […]