Free Trade Zones

World Trade Centers Association 2022 General Assembly “Exploring New Horizons” Draws Nearly 600 Attendees from Over 60 Countries

The AI-powered matchmaking platform fostered global B2B networking in a virtual conference focusing on business opportunities throughout Africa

NEW YORK, April 28, 2022 /CNW/ – The World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®), an international trade organization connecting more than 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) sites in nearly 100 countries, brought together nearly 600 participants from more than 60 countries during its 2022 General Assembly (GA), which was held virtually from April 18-22. Attendees took part in two days of live sessions with prominent speakers discussing business opportunities in Africa and a full week of B2B matchmaking opportunities powered by artificial intelligence (AI) across all time zones. Focused on the theme “Exploring New Horizons”, the GA demonstrated the strength of the WTCA network and offered attendees the opportunity to learn from leading experts and connect virtually.

(PRNewsfoto/World Association of Malls)

“Even though our association’s first global annual event was held virtually this year, our AI-powered B2B matchmaking platform continued to offer attendees the opportunity to maximize the time spent building business relationships. business – with valuable 24/7 access around the world,” said John E. Drew, Chairman of the WTCA Board of Directors. “During this year’s event, we explored the wide range of industries and sectors in Africaand the qualities that make the continent an investment destination. Africa is in a geostrategic location to support both Asian and European markets from an offshoring perspective, and is a viable partner for our members and their global business networks.”

The 2022 GA offered a series of informative live events including fireside chats, panel discussions and presentations on topics intended to showcase the African business community. The opening speech presented Atsuko Toda, Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development of the African Development Bank, who spoke about accelerating the transformation of African agriculture. Other notable sessions include a fireside chat with Soji Awogbade, Partner and Head of International Trade, Energy & Natural Resources, and Agriculture Practice Groups at ǼLEX, talking about the Free Zone. – African Continental Exchange (AfCFTA); as well as a roundtable discussion on business in Africa with WTCA members from Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mauritius and Nigeria.

“This year’s GA revealed that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the heart of Africa’s economy and there is huge potential for global trade and investment,” said Robin van Puyenbroeck, Executive Director of Business Development for the WTCA. “Our global network of World Trade Center companies is key to creating opportunities across the continent, as each represents hundreds, sometimes thousands, of SMEs. It is through this connectivity and the power of our network that our association can help facilitate business globally across industries and sectors.”

Attendees were also notified of many different updates across the WTCA, including the official announcement of the winners of the 2021-2022 WTCA 2021-2022 WTCA Champions Awards.

“With a renewed focus on business in Africawe hope this GA has given you some insight into the opportunities available over the next year, which will take place at Accra, Ghana by the World Trade Center Accra,” Drew announced.

The 2023 WTCA GA will be held from April 23-28.

To view recordings of the 2022 WTCA GA live sessions, please click here.


World Association of Commerce Centers (WTCA)
Chanelle Kasik
Telephone: +1 212 432 2644
Email: [email protected]

About the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA)
The World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) is a network of more than 300 highly connected and mutually supportive companies and organizations in 92 countries. As the owner of the “World Trade Center” and “WTC” marks, the WTCA grants exclusive rights to these marks for members to use in conjunction with their independently owned iconic commercial properties, facilities and service offerings. Through a strong portfolio of events, programs and resources it offers to its members, the WTCA’s goal is to help local economies thrive by encouraging and facilitating trade and investment through the world through member engagement. To learn more, visit



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