Previewing Georgia’s Inaugural World Trade Day Conference; Behind the Scenes with Chair Diane Alleva Cáceres PhD

Mollee D. Harper

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Georgia CEO catches up with Diane Alleva Cáceres, PhD for a special behind the scenes preview of Georgia’s inaugural 2017 World Trade Day Conference. During our time together, Dr. Alleva Cáceres shares insights about the conference lineup, speakers, panels and activities, as well as Georgia’s current and impressive state of international commerce including an estimated $121 billion in trade between Georgia and the world in 2016.  

Dr. Alleva Cáceres serves as Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors for the World Trade Center Atlanta and Chair for the 1st Annual World Trade Day Conference to be held on May 2, 2017 at the Georgia International Convention Center.

Dr. Alleva Cáceres offered, “We are very excited about this very first annual World Trade Day in Georgia. Some other states also celebrate World Trade Day. The very first World Trade Day was held in Los Angeles 91 years ago. In 1935, FDR was trying to get the country to realize the value of international trade to the US economy. He established a formal national proclamation to establish World Trade Week in the month of May each year. The idea was to celebrate the value of global trade and investments and get the community together under a big tent and discuss the opportunities and challenges involved in trading globally. Every year since that initial signing, every president has signed the formal proclamation.”

“Georgia has never celebrated it formally and we are inspired by our roots. Georgia is also the seventh largest importing and 11th largest exporting state in the nation. Just from the trade side, Georgia is a powerhouse in terms of global trade. Our economy relies on it. It’s a significant portion of our GDP.”

Dr. Alleva Cáceres shared, “In recognition of World Trade Center Atlanta’s leadership on international issues, Governor Deal has formally proclaimed the conference date as World Trade Day in Georgia. In 2016 total trade (import and exports) between Georgia and world exceed $121 billion spanning 223 unique countries and territories. Total trade has grown for the state since the 2008 (financial crisis) by 45%.”

She continued, “The leaders of World Trade Center Atlanta evaluated the current state of global affairs and we decided the state needed a major conference to bring together all voices, including the companies and individuals who are investing abroad, and importing and exporting. This gives them a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges. This also brings together our decisions makers, policy makers, government and more.”

World Trade Center Atlanta is hosting the World Trade Day on May 2, 2017.  Georgia’s inaugural conference will be held at the Georgia International Conference Center located at 2000 Convention Center Concourse, Atlanta, GA 30337. The event will provide business professionals throughout Georgia with the opportunity to come together to listen to panel discussions with distinguished global leaders, participate in roundtable discussions on international policy, and network. 

The conference will feature Keynote Speaker Matthew T. McGuire,

Former United States Executive Director of The World Bank Group. Panel discussions will feature representatives of the Council of Foreign Relations, Dentons, Emory University, Georgia Tech, Site Selection magazine, UPS and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Dr. Alleva Cáceres described, “World Trade Day kicks off with a welcome and introduction. We have Matthew McGuire, former US Executive Director of The World Bank Group as our keynoter. Then we have three parallel panel discussions around specific issues and topics. The first is on emerging markets that are driving growth. The second panel is global trends to build, innovate and attract. ‘How do we help our company export?’ ‘How do we attract overseas investments in our area?’ Representatives from these companies will learn how to innovate and what products can they sell. The third panel is securing imports and exports and all of the regulations that govern to ensure physical security for the goods that are being transported.”

“Lunch is a big attraction with a ‘North America Rising?’ theme. We have a special panel moderating on how Canada, Mexico and the US compete globally.” 

“The afternoon will have a similar setup with parallel sessions. These are ‘conversations that matter’ to be led by subject matter experts in three industries – advanced manufacturing, sustainability and energy solutions, and digital technologies. There will be short presentations on each subject and then engagement with attendees in the audience to discuss, interact and network.” 

“We wrap it up with an exciting reception, closing remarks from the gaming industry, and engage in more networking. And attendees will have the opportunity to enter to win business class tickets to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean, thanks to the generous support of World Trade Day sponsor Delta Air Lines, Inc.” 

Dr. Alleva Cáceres added, “As founder and chair, I am excited about where we are now with sponsorships and attendees. There is really great value to every aspect of this event.” 

“There is a key group of six that make up the executive committee with me including: Dr. Karen Loch, President of the WTC Atlanta board and a professor in the Institute of International Business at the Robinson College of Business of Georgia State University, Vice Chair Delray Wannemacher of First Look Equities, Joanne Sanders of eWise Communications, Dan Curran of Curran Public Relations, and Donna Mullins of Mullins International Solutions. We do our day jobs and then work together on this initiative as members of Georgia’s first foreign investment think tank.” 

“I am personally thrilled we are able to do this and bring everyone together to make Georgia’s first World Trade Day happen. This is an all volunteer event. There are many people working to make this event successful from behind the scenes including government and university representation.” 

Dr. Alleva Cáceres explained, “Tickets are going fast for this historical inaugural conference. There is still room available. It’s a great opportunity to take the time away from your office. Emerce yourself in the discussions and relationships and think about strategically how you want to drive your own organization. It’s also a great way to network and an intimate setting for learning.”

Dr. Alleva Cáceres also founded and serves as CEO for Market Access International, Inc. since 1997. And, she works for the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Lecturer in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. Prior to her current roles, Dr. Alleva Cáceres served as a Research Associate for the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies and Associate Director for the European Union Center of Excellence. Dr. Alleva Cáceres received her BA and MA degrees in Economics, International Trade Policy and Government from The College of William and Mary. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in International Affairs, Science and Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“Dr. Alleva Cáceres concluded, “I have personally always been passionate about this field. I studied it in school and started out my career in DC before moving to Atlanta. This has been such a good place to do business. I didn’t know how I would get to where I am today. I used my imagination and vision to be active in the international world. “

“I always wanted to know how the world works. One way to learn was in formal education. I am a big advocate for life-long learning. I applied an imagination to carve out a career in this area. That curiosity has served me well.” 

“When you really believe in something it just comes through. We so believe in this. And, it’s happening. We’re getting the state’s international community together. That’s what imagination and curiosity can do.”

Tickets and sponsorships still available; For more information visit: