What is a World Trade Center?

More than a building or an organization, a World Trade Center brings together businesses involved in international trade from around the globe.

World Trade Center Harrisburg is a member of the World Trade Centers Association. The World Trade Centers Association, headquartered in New York City, is the umbrella organization for over 330 World Trade Centers in more than 100 countries.  The Association stands outside politics across national boundaries, in service to those who develop and facilitate international trade.

Our members may utilize the services and facilities of all World Trade Centers throughout the globe. These worldwide privileges include meeting and club facilities, trade information and education services, exhibit space, access to temporary office space, videoconferencing facilities, secretarial and translation services.

Many associate a World Trade Center with a building, but not all licensed World Trade Centers actually have a real estate component.  Since our inception, we have only concentrated on the delivery of trade assistance services and global trade promotion and we never have had a physical building. However in 2014, our Board of Directors started a “Building Committee” to search for potential opportunities in the southcentral Pennsylvania area. Historically, we have partnered with other non-profit organizations who generously provide office or meeting space for us. Our main office is co-located with MANTEC in York.

 

What is the difference between the WTO and the WTCA?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is located in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the only international organization that deals with the global regulations of trade between nations. Some of the functions of the WTO are to liberalize trade, provide a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements, and settle trade disputes. The WTO acts as a governing collective and decisions are made by the entire membership, typically by consensus. The WTO’s members consist of over 140 countries and account for over 90% of world trade.

A World Trade Center is an apolitical organization that can be located in any country. It supplies businesses with access to international trade services and facilities and seeks to simplify and stimulate trade by bringing together the offices of government and industry that serve and carry on trade. Although WTC’s vary from country to country, they are all connected as a part of the World Trade Center Association (WTCA).The Association’s motto is “Peace and Stability Through Trade” and its primary mission is to support the international trade and business objectives of the region it serves. The WTCA has more than 330 members in over 100 countries representing 750,000+ businesses.

World Trade Center Association

(WTCA)

World Trade Organization

(WTO)

LOCATION:

New York City, USA

Geneva, Switzerland

ESTABLISHED:

1970

1995

MEMBERS:

330 Facilities in nearly 100 Countries

158 Countries

REPRESENTS:

More than 1 million Businesses

Governments

KEY ASPECTS: 
  • Non-Profit
  • Non-Political
  • Unites Corporations and Government Agencies in International Trade
  • International organization
  • Comprised of government representatives from member countries who make collective WTO decisions
FUNCTIONS: 
  • Oversees the operations of World Trade Center licensees (like World Trade Center Harrisburg)
  • Encourages the expansion of world trade and participation in trading by industrializing nations
  • Promotes international business relationships and encourages cooperation among members
  • Monitors the global regulation of trade between nations
  • Administers WTO trade agreements
  • Liberalizes trade
  • Provides a forum for trade agreement negotiations and trade disputes
  • Monitors national trade policies