International Stories

Published 06/01/18

World Trade Day 2018 Connects Technology, Ideas, and People to Promote Global Trade

SMITHFIELD, RI – From blockchain and cryptocurrency to drones and cybersecurity, World Trade Day covered today's most relevant global trade issues and provided a peek inside the latest innovations across the business spectrum. About 500 regional business leaders attended the event one of the region’s largest international business conferences on May 23. Here are some highlights from a dynamic and productive day. 

Hope Global CEO Cheryl Merchant honored for contributions to international trade 

Hope Global CEO Cheryl Merchant received the John Hazen White, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for her outstanding contributions to promoting international trade and collaboration. Merchant's passion for business, dedication to growth and innovation, and willingness to help others succeed have earned her many accoldades including an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from Bryant University and the Women's Summit® New England Businesswoman of the Year award in 2014. She's also a member of Bryant's Board of Trustees. 

Pictured left to right: Bryant President Ronald K. Machtley, Cheryl Merchant, Taco Chairman John Hazen White, Jr. who presented the award to Ms. Merchant, and Chafee Center for International Business Director Ray Fogarty.

Infosys creating an innovation ecosystem with universities including Bryant 

“I am extremely excited about our Design Center in Rhode Island,” said Sudhir Jha, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Product Management & Strategy at Infosys, in his keynote remarks. Infosys is working with the region's higher education institutions, including Bryant University, to build an ecosystem that supports talent and resource development. In November 2017, the Bangalore-based tecnology services and consulting company with offices and development centers around the world, announced a multi-year partnership with the state of Rhode Island to establish a Design Innovation Hub and to hire 500 American workers in the state over the next five years.


Sudhir Jha, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Product Management & Strategy at Infosys, was a keynote speaker at World Trade day. 

Expert panels on cryptocurrency and more 

With this year’s focus on Technology in Global Trade, expert speakers and panel discussions focused on innovations in manufacturing including robotics, drones, and other technological advancements. Workshops covered big topics such as big data and analytics, as well as ethical considerations in data mining practices. Other featured topics include block chain technology, cybersecurity, and global logistics.

A topic dominating the global business conversation is cryptocurrency—what is it and is it here to stay? Developers, investors, and corporate leaders around the world are using and investing in digital currencies that often bypass trade limits and regulations. Those still on the sidelines are watching very closely. An expert panel moderated by Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy helped shed some light on this controversial topic. 

Pictured left to right: John Hargrave, Publisher, Bitcoin Market Journal, Gayatri Sarkar, General Partner, Sportvest, Mark Murphy, Editor, PBN, John Whelan, Director, Blockchain Lab, Banco Santander