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Monday, September 12, 2011 - 10:20am

World Trade Center Coming To Savannah

Savannah is seeking to become Georgia's second World Trade Center designated city.

The affiliation could boost the city's international recognition.

The New York-based World Trade Center is a non-profit association for promoting trade.

Savannah's Economic Development Authority voted Tuesday to apply for a $200,000 initial membership in the group.

SEDA's Executive Director, Steve Weathers, says the membership application is part a broader plan to help small- and medium-sized local firms sell their products overseas.

"All the latest data show that 80% of the economic growth over the next number of years, maybe the next decade, 80% is going to be outside the U.S.," Weathers says. "We really need to have a mechanism and a tool and really a structure to be able to take advantage of global economic opportunity."

Weathers says, WTCA isn't just a marketing and networking tool.

It requires a local plan to boost global trade.

"One of the things we'll do is, first, to be getting into more of what we call 'trade services,'" Weathers says. "And the idea behind that is, 'How can we help more medium and small businesses here, which have a tough time in the global market, take advantage of global markets in selling their products?'"

There are more than 300 World Trade Center designated cities, including Atlanta and about about 50 others in the US.

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