WHTC Hosts Keynote Speaker Series, Annual Trade Conference
Posted: 4/10/12

Capping Another Successful Year at TAMIU’s WHTC, University
Hosts Last Keynote Speaker of Year and Annual Trade Conference

Jorge Quiroga
Jorge Fernando Quiroga, former president of Bolivia, will be here for the Annual Trade Conference.

On Wednesday and Thursday, April 11-12, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) will host a major series of events, capping the academic year with its popular Keynote Speaker Series and hosting its Annual Trade Conference.

On Wednesday evening, two Canadian scholars, Dr. Christian Leuprecht and Dr. Todd Hataley of Queen’s University in Ontario, will jointly present “Making Institutions Resilient: Lessons from the Northern Border on Reconciling Security and Trade.”  This presentation addresses some of the neglected, but important issues between the US and its northern borders. While much attention is focused on southern borders, there is much to be learned from looking northward.  A reception will is scheduled at 7 with the lecture to follow at 7:30 p.m. in the TAMIU Student Center Ballroom. It is free and open to the public.

Professor Tagi Sagafi-nejad, Radcliffe-Killam Distinguished Professor, director, Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade and organizer of the Keynote Speaker series and the annual conference, said this lecture caps the yearlong series of Keynote Speakers, sponsored by IBC Bank, which began in the fall of 2011.

“In the fall we had a a well-attended presentation by Jorge Fernando Quiroga, former president of Bolivia and a well-known Latin American political figure. He addressed “Latin America in the Global Economy”, and engaged in a lively Q&A with the audience after his talk.  He returns to Laredo for our Annual Trade Conference this Thursday.

“In November we were joined by Dr. Nichols Montalto, an expert on immigration. His address, “Meeting the Social Needs of Immigrants: Challenges and Opportunities” was equally well received, and provided interesting insights into the history of migration, multicultural roots on Americans, and challenges facing immigrants and the country,” Dr. Sagafi-nejad said.

“This Spring, the third keynote speaker was Russell Dillon, who had just completed a study titled “Global Manufacturing: Global Cost Comparison and “Near-Sourcing.” He presented results of a study on global trends in manufacturing, and shifts in relative importance in factors that determine location decisions,” he continued.

Sagafi-nejad said the theme of Thursday’s Annual Trade Conference is “Common Problems, Contending Approaches.”  The Conference begins at 8:30 a.m., includes a luncheon and sessions through 8 p.m. For registration costs and information, contact Amy Palacios at 326.2820 or email amy@tamiu.edu. See the Conference agenda here.

“In collaboration with its partner institution and consistent with our mission to increase awareness and knowledge of economic, political and social issues in Western Hemisphere, the Center for the Study of Western Hemispheric Trade has again put together an exciting and balanced program involving practitioners, academicians and community leaders.

“In the morning plenary session, we will hear from two well-informed observers of the Americas:  Jorge Fernando Quiroga, former President of Bolivia, and Erik Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas.  They will share their unique insights into the current predicaments and contending approaches being taken in the Western Hemisphere,”  Sagafi-nejad explained.

Sagafi-nejad said that TAMIU’s unique role as a border institution has informed the Conference.

“Being a border University, we are also interested in promoting collaborative arrangements that bring us together and help us better serve both sides of the border. The US Department of Commerce has recently spearheaded one such initiative, and we will hear more details, hoping to find more ways in which such collaboration across the border academic institutions can be cemented and fortified,” he said

Another evening session will bring a challenge from today’s youth, he said.

“Our evening plenary will see us challenged by the youth to step up to the plate and to see from the eyes of the youth what challenges are ahead, and how we can meet them,” he noted.

The Trade Conference will feature multiple academic sessions will occupy the space between the morning plenary and the evening reception. US and Mexican scholars will address topics ranging from corporate finance to international strategy, from negotiations to Mexico’s maquiladoras, and from education to international financial reporting standards. Case studies of Mexico’s pioneering companies such as Grupo Modelo, Grupo Bimbo and Pemex will be presented side by side with MNC-Subsidiary information relationships, the need for common agreements among NAFTA countries, and methodological issues such as bootstrapping.

“This theme of both common problems --  as well as contending approaches to solving them – will undoubtedly be highlighted in the sixth Summit on the Americas, which is just around the corner from this Conference, in Cartagena, Colombia, April 14-15,” Sagafi-nejad observed.

For additional information on the Keynote Speaker Series or the Annual Trade Conference, contact Palacios at 326.2820 or email amy@tamiu.edu  

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