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Annual International Exhibition to Highlight Trade


JONESBORO – Expanding trade, building relationships, adapting to change and experiencing cultural diversity are the primary topics at the eighth International Exhibition of Countries and Regions, Monday, March 11. The event, hosted by the Neil Griffin College of Business at Arkansas State University, will be held in Centennial Hall in the Carl R. Reng Student Union from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

“This international exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to take a moment to listen, pause, reflect and engage in a meaningful conversation about change in this globalized world and learn how it impacts trade in the natural state as well as each one of us,” said Dr. Sarath Nonis, professor of marketing.  

Melvin Torres, director of Western Hemisphere Trade at the World Trade Center in Arkansas, will provide the keynote address at 9 a.m. Torres will focus on the importance of trade to the natural state, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) (renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA), current trade negotiations with China and building international relationships, including Queretero, Mexico.

Additionally, two panel sessions are planned, including “Is exporting still a viable strategy to expand local Arkansas business?” from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Joining Torres as panelists are Raman Joshi, president of FMH Conveyors in Jonesboro; Bob West, vice president for corporate development for Hytrol in Jonesboro; and James Aardappel, director of U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce in Little Rock.

The second panel discussion, from 10:30-11:30 a.m., is “In a technology driven, rapidly changing, globalized world, where do I fit in?” Panel members are Dr. Kathy Loyd, alumna and executive director of Women’s Business Leadership Center at Arkansas State; Steve Ewart,alumnus of Arkansas State and retired transportation director (JETS), retired head football coach and teacher at Jonesboro High School; Dr. Shane Hunt, professor of marketing and R.M. “Bob” Wood Endowed Professor in Sales Leadership at Arkansas State; and Aardappel.

A question and answer session will follow each panel discussion.

Students will present a world showcase featuring several countries, discuss medical tourism in South Africa and study abroad opportunities and enjoy entertainment and trivia. For more information about this event, email Nonis at snonis@AState.edu or call (870) 972-3430.

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