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Western Hemisphere Trade Director to Address International Exhibition


JONESBORO – Melvin Torres, director of Western Hemisphere Trade at the World Trade Center in Rogers, is the featured speaker at the seventh annual “International Exhibition: Regions, Countries, Exports,” hosted by Arkansas State University’s College of Business.

The event, Thursday, Oct. 12, in Centennial Hall at the Carl R. Reng Student Union, is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. It includes trivia, entertainment and other surprises and is free and open to the public.

Serving as the director of Western Hemisphere Trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas, Torres has found his dream job stimulating trade and encouraging diplomacy to build lasting relationships between the U.S. and the members of the international community. In June 2015, he led the second delegation of Arkansas leaders for the World Trade Center into Cuba for a successful mission that positioned Arkansas as the key trading partner for the emerging Cuban market.

He has created many impactful relationships with Latin American governments and is seen as a vital resource for top foreign state officials on matters of trade and diplomacy. His value as a liaison between Latin American governments, Arkansas and the United States government is recognized by global media and the most important trade leaders in the western hemisphere.

This year’s exhibition features special breakout sessions, all in the Spring River Room, with Torres providing an update on trade, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Arkansas World Trade Center. That session runs from 10:45-11:15 a.m.

James Aardappel, director of U.S. Commercial Service in Little Rock, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration, will discuss exporting and finding international partners from 11:15-11:45 a.m.

Dr. Travis Simkins, assistant professor of marketing at A-State, will close out the sessions with his topic “Overland Canadian and Mexican Importation from the United States: Practical Insight for Businesses Engaged in Trans NAFTA Commerce.” His session is from 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Students, both international and American, from A-State’s College of Business will display booths presenting posters depicting U.S. retailers looking to do business in the following trading blocks:

  • Mercosur — Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.
  • Dominican Republic-Central America — Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Panama.
  • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

In addition, students will focus on the competitive advantage, culture, history and more of the country or the region. Some of the countries in the exhibition include South Korea, Ireland, Mexico, Colombia, Pakistan, Japan, Netherlands, France, Finland, Germany, Turkey and Bolivia.

For more information about the exhibition, contact Dr. Sarath Nonis, professor of marketing, at snonis@AState.edu or call 870-972-3430.

Melvin Torres
Melvin Torres

Fall Exhibition