Sign up for Enews

Enter your e-mail address to receive our free monthly e-newsletter.

UPDATED: World Trade Center Opens in Rogers - Innovate Arkansas

UPDATED: World Trade Center Opens in Rogers

By Andrew Jensen, 4/13/2007 12:00:00 AM

The Arkansas World Trade Center opened its doors in January but had to wait until April to host the dignitaries worthy of a true grand opening.
Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark., Deputy Secretary of Commerce David Sampson and ambassadors from Central America and the Dominican Republic joined University of Arkansas Chancellor John A. White on Friday in Rogers to commemorate the occasion with area business leaders.
Costa Rican Ambassador Rene A. Leon credited Boozman for his leadership and help launching the World Trade Center. Leon also thanked Boozman and Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., for their support of CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
Leon said CAFTA led to a 30 percent increase in trade between the U.S. and Central America in 2006 and that northwest Arkansas has the political leadership, the companies and the man power to make the World Trade Center a success for both sides of the border.
“A World Trade Center is an institution to promote peace and prosperity through trade,” Leon said.
Boozman said he told White to “think big and move quickly” after the idea of a World Trade Center was proposed last year.
“We’re here to help manufacturers, farming, small business and business in general,” Boozman said. “Arkansas can compete with anyone.”
Sampson said the Commerce Department and the World Trade Center share a concurrent mission to bring life to trade agreements like CAFTA by building relationships between nations and companies.
“We work with World Trade Centers to achieve these goals,” Sampson said.
Sampson there are “winds of isolationism and protectionism” blowing in
Washington, D.C., but growing a vibrant economy means reaching 95 percent of the world¹s consumers outside of the U.S.
“We have to plug into international markets,” Sampson said. “Northwest Arkansas has seen it. There is an environment to innovate and a link to global markets.”
The Trade Center was established in September 2006 with an agreement between the UA and the World Trade Centers Association. The center moved into its offices at 330 Market Street, Suite 400 at Rogers on Jan. 15.
The center, which is affiliated with the Sam Walton College of Business at the UA, will seek to bring help Arkansas businesses gain a bigger share of the global marketplace.
Dan Hendrix is president and chief executive officer of the trade center.

Latest News

  • Harvey Hughes' 5 Tips for Startup Success

    Founder Harvey Hughes of Mountain Home's SEAS Education, an Innovate Arkansas client firm, likes to keep things simple. Here are his five tips for startup success.

    Read More »

  • Foreign Patent Trolls Threaten Arkansas Economy (Warwick Sabin Commentary)

    “Patent trolling,” the practice of obtaining large buckets of intellectual property rights with the intention of using them to extract damages and settlement revenue rather than to protect innovation or produce anything, is not a new idea. Over the past 40 years, lawmakers have tried to strike a balance between defending research and advancements while dissuading offensive use of patents that negatively impact our economy.

    Read More »

  • IA Client Firm SEAS Education not Typical 'Startup'

    One Innovate Arkansas client firm stretches the "startup" tag. SEAS Education of Mountain Home has been around since 1995 and quietly has become a leading national provider of education plan management software.

    Read More »

  • ARK Challenge: My Color of Beauty Aims to Fill Niche

    Eyona Mitchell is experiencing first hand how the other half lives. A one-person team competing in the fourth installment of the ARK Challenge startup accelerator in downtown Little Rock, Mitchell used to help businesses at previous stints working with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership and Alt.Consulting in Pine Bluff.

    Read More »