Bengaluru (7th February 2024 ) — World Trade Centers Association® (WTCA®) — an international trade organization connecting more than 300 World Trade Center® (WTC®) locations in nearly 100 countries — and World Trade Center Bengaluru will host the 54th annual WTCA Global Business Forum (GBF) in Bengaluru, India from March 3-6.

This will be the first time WTCA presents its newly rebranded Global Business Forum (formerly called the “General Assembly”) in India to focus on the B2B aspect of the event. The rebrand further accentuates WTCA’s core mission, “Connecting Businesses Globally,” by shifting focus to the expansion of Members’ international trade presence and integration into various global supply chains.

The association’s premier annual event will bring together WTCA Members and their global networks consisting of leaders in business, government, academia, media and international organizations — reflecting WTCA’s diverse global footprint. Over 80 WTC businesses from 30 countries/territories have already confirmed their participation with more to follow. This includes representations from: Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China Mainland, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Palestine, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Syria, Taiwan, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam and Yemen, with several WTC businesses bringing delegations to participate in the B2B matchmaking aspect of the event.

With the theme of “EPIC: Empowering Progress through Innovation & Collaboration,” the Forum will feature an engaging keynote address and panel discussions, including a special address from the Honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri. Siddaramaiah and felicitations from the Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka Sri. D.K. Shivakumar on Monday, March 4. Romal Shetty, CEO of Deloitte South Asia, will provide the keynote address to set the theme of this year’s GBF and unveil the new Deloitte research report ”India as an Investment Destination.” Other notable speakers include M.R. Jaishankar, Executive Chairman, Brigade Enterprises Limited who will provide the opening address alongside John E. Drew, Chair, WTCA Board of Directors. A robust agenda of panel discussions on AI & tech start-ups, exporting overseas, agritech, and real estate will include moderators and panelists: Nirupa Shankar, Joint Managing Director, Brigade Enterprises Limited and Brigade REAP; Remy Swaab, Vice-Chair, WTCA (WTC Panama); Uma Reddy, Vice President, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FKCCI); Prashanth Gokhale, President, Bühler Group India Private Limited; Pavitra Shankar, Managing Director, Brigade Enterprises Limited; Mr. Naresh V. Narasimhan, Managing Partner & Principal Architect, Venkataramanan and Associates (VA); Dr. R. Srinivas, Subject Matter Expert on Smart Cities; and Dr. Tuan Anh, CIO/CXO, Becamex (WTC Binh Duong New City).

“This year’s GBF will not only showcase India, specifically Karnataka, as a rising investment destination of the world, but also serve to strengthen relationships between industry leaders,” said Vineet Verma, Managing Director of World Trade Center Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi; and newly-appointed WTCA Board Member. “This will be an invaluable opportunity to interact with leading innovators and invest in India’s growing economy — backed by our dynamic and skilled workforce.”

The Forum will demonstrate the strength of the global WTCA network, facilitate business relationships and focus on investment opportunities in Karnataka across 12 diverse industry sectors including: Agriculture & Food Processing; Automotive; Aviation & Aerospace; Biotech; Education; Heavy Engineering; IT, ITeS & Electronics; Manufacturing; Real Estate & Construction; Tech Startups; Textile & Garments; and Travel & Tourism. In partnership with the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), the event will offer onsite B2B matchmaking services, connecting international delegates with business opportunities in the state of Karnataka. The full GBF program agenda is available here.

India stands as the world’s fifth largest economy by nominal GDP, and the third largest by purchasing power parity. Bengaluru, often referred to as the “Silicon Valley of India,” is renowned for its cutting-edge advancements and innovation hub status. The GBF’s strategic location in Bengaluru will afford WTCA Members and attending delegates with the opportunity to tap into the region’s dynamic and rapidly growing business landscape.

“India is experiencing rapid economic growth, coupled with a surging demand for commercial infrastructure and global business connectivity. As a result, our network has grown phenomenally in the country during the past decade. Today, we have our second largest membership cluster here with 40 Members representing most of India’s major cities and contributing to India’s sustainable development,” said John E. Drew, Chair, WTCA Board of Directors. “Bengaluru’s entrepreneurial spirit makes it an ideal setting for fostering synergies and exploring lucrative business opportunities in one of the world’s most promising economic regions.”