Thomas Young, the newly appointed President and CEO of the World Trade Center Greater Philadelphia.

In a recent interview with Jos Duncan Asé, Thomas Young, the newly appointed President and CEO of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP), shared his fresh vision for the organization and the city’s global business future.

Young, who stepped into his new role on August 1, 2023, is keen on amplifying Philadelphia’s standing in international trade and commerce. He emphasized the organization’s primary goal to bolster the capacity of regional companies to extend their reach on the global stage.

Under his leadership, the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia is set to prioritize the empowerment of Philadelphia’s minority business community. Young articulated a compelling vision for the city, citing a unique opportunity to “change the narrative of how the world views Philadelphia” in the lead-up to three major international events slated for 2026. These events include the FIFA World Cup, the 250th birthday of America, and the MLB All-Star Game.

Young is actively lobbying for Philadelphia to host the Global Business Forum in 2026, a significant gathering of all 323 World Trade Centers from 92 countries. This annual forum focuses on enhancing international business cooperation and showcasing the host city as a prime business hub. The upcoming forums are scheduled for Bengaluru, India in 2024 and Marseille, France in 2025, setting the stage for Philadelphia’s potential spotlight in 2026.

To host such events, Young sees a need to strengthen the city’s infrastructure by improving transportation upgrades, traffic management, digital infrastructure, and safety. 

Young also highlighted the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia’s commitment to democratizing global access for local businesses. 

Businesses looking to get involved with the Center can apply for the ‘Selling to the World’ initiative which accepts a cohort of minority businesses to engage in a comprehensive 6 to 8-week program to learn the intricacies of international trade. From securing finance through international channels to pinpointing thriving markets and industries, the program equips participants with specialized knowledge.

Philadelphia’s robust infrastructure and economic landscape, akin to global cities like Singapore and Tokyo, provides fertile ground for such programs. By strengthening the support for minority businesses and enhancing the city’s infrastructure, Young envisions Philadelphia not just as a participant but as a leader in international dialogue. The city will be poised to offer its businesses the world’s stage – thereby giving access, opportunity, and empowerment for a more inclusive and interconnected global economy.
Learn more about the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia at wtcphila.org