Upon leaving office, Zoeller will seek to increase Indiana exports, global trade ties
Departing Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced that part of his future plans include partnering with others to bring a World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) licensed organization and facility to Indiana once he leaves public service on January 9th.
“This new mission of developing a World Trade Center in Indianapolis provides an opportunity for me to continue to serve the best interests of Indiana as our state begins its third century,” said Zoeller. “The WTC-Indy will serve to enhance trade opportunities for manufacturers, increase global investments and help promote all that is best of our Hoosier state.”
Zoeller and former Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler will lead an investment group pursuing a WTCA license for an Indianapolis-based World Trade Center (WTC) organization and eventual facility dedicated to strengthening the state’s ties to the global economy while helping individual firms seeking to export and import products abroad.
Founded in 1969 and headquartered in New York City, the WTCA is a non-profit organization with more than 320 member organizations in 90 countries, creating an “international ecosystem” of reciprocal global connections, commercial properties and integrated trade services under the World Trade Center brand. The WTCA and its 15,000 professionals worldwide stimulate trade and investment opportunities for commercial property developers, economic development agencies and international businesses looking to connect globally and prosper locally.
Indianapolis is the 4th largest U.S. metropolitan area currently without a WTC designation and Zoeller believes it is time to change that.
“Trade is tremendously important for Indiana’s economy and World Trade Center operations provide local enterprises and businesses with an array of integrated trade and business services,” said Zoeller. “We are encouraged by the opportunity that this process affords and confident it will be a very big boost for both the city of Indianapolis and our state if we are successful with the bid. It is something I was working on prior to my public service in the attorney general’s office and I look forward to rallying community support and completing this exciting project.”
Zoeller will serve as chairman of the effort and Sadler will serve as president, leading the application and licensing process after receiving preliminary interest from the WTCA in October 2016. A formal application to the WTCA will be submitted on January 12 for a final WTCA decision coming as early as February 9, 2017. Upon final WTCA approval, both the non-profit and for-profit arms will begin operations under license.
Former Indiana Office of Management and Budget official Travis Spotts is serving as executive director. The website for the Indianapolis effort will be www.WTCIndy.com.
A WTCA member is exclusively licensed to develop and operate a WTC in their region. WTC operations provide high-end business facilities and integrated trade services for corporate members, tenants and the local business community in order to promote local economic development and grow international trade and investment. Services include: trade information and education; trade missions; business-to-business matchmaking on an international scale; legal and business services; dining/membership club services; exhibition services and tenant services.
Zoeller believes Indianapolis is ripe for such an opportunity. According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, exports from the Indianapolis metro area grew an average of three percent (3%) annually over the last decade while exports from Indiana grew at a slightly higher annual rate of five percent (5%). The Indianapolis metro area accounts for thirty percent (30%) of all Indiana exports.
“Data from World Trade Centers worldwide demonstrate that having the designation for your community can drive economic growth. It strengthens connectivity with the world. It helps smaller businesses identify opportunities overseas and navigate complex international transactions. It is a premier partner to bring to Indiana,” said Sadler.