Zoeller seeks to establish local unit of global trade group

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who is leaving office Monday after serving two terms, has lined up his next assignment: trying to set up an Indianapolis unit of a global trade organization known as World Trade Centers Association.

Zoeller announced Thursday that he will serve as chairman of an effort to persuade the organization, based in New York City, to license an arm in Indianapolis. The group works to stimulate trade and investment opportunities for commercial property developers, economic development agencies, and international businesses.

The association represents 320 member cities in 91 countries. Indianapolis is the fourth-largest metropolitan area without a World Trade Center designation, according to a Zoeller. He said it’s time to change that.

“Trade is tremendously important for Indiana’s economy and World Trade Center operations provide local enterprises and businesses with an array of integrated trade and business services,” he said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the opportunity that this process affords and confident it will be a very big boost for both the city of Indianapolis and our state if we are successful with the bid.”

The WTCA was founded in 1969. It acts as a global network for economic development agencies and international businesses looking to connect globally and helps firms seeking to export and import products.

Zoeller will be assisted by former Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler, who will serve as president of the effort. Travis Spotts, a former official at the Indiana Office of Management and Budget, will serve as executive director.

Zoeller and Sadler will lead an unidentified investment group pursuing a WTCA license for an Indianapolis-based WTC organization “and eventual facility dedicated to strengthening the state’s ties to the global economy.” The announcement did not say how much investment money the group is hoping to raise.

Zoeller said he would begin a formal application to the WTCA on Jan. 12, and expects a decision to come as early as Feb. 9.

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