Louisiana’s Headquarters for International Trade
The World Trade Center of New Orleans (WTCNO) is a non-profit organization of more than 1,000 corporate and individual members which was started in 1943 as International House and in 1945 as International Trade Mart, its two predecessor organizations, which merged in 1985. Dating back to its origins more than 50 years ago, WTCNO was the first of what are today over 300 World Trade Center organizations in nearly 100 countries which are members of the World Trade Centers Association. The Association itself was founded in New Orleans in 1968.
The mission of the World Trade Center is to facilitate the addition of wealth and jobs in Louisiana through international trade, economic development and allied activities by supporting a prosperous international business climate in Louisiana with advocacy, information, education and stakeholder programs and services, resulting in the retention, recruitment and expansion of Louisiana-based international businesses.
In line with these objectives, WTCNO has long been involved in conducting a wide range of trade promotion, educational, and legislative programs designed to enhance Louisiana’s position in international trade, investment, transportation, banking, and other trade-related services, and to contribute to the state’s overall economic development. These programs include training classes on exporting and importing; seminars on doing business in other countries; international conferences and trade shows; international trade publications; and trade missions to other countries. Additionally, numerous dignitaries from throughout the world have visited WTCNO as honorees or program speakers, as well as incoming delegations visiting Louisiana on trade missions or individually from around the globe.
Through these and other programs, WTCNO serves as a catalyst in furthering Louisiana’s trade with other countries and bringing together international buyers and sellers to generate new business. In recognition of its efforts, the WTC has received both the President’s “E” and “E-Star” Awards for outstanding contributions to the expansion of United States exports.
The World Trade Center of New Orleans also has available for its members and guests the Plimsoll Club, located on the 11th floor of the Westin Canal Place Hotel, overlooking the Mississippi River.