It was a successful mission to Asia last month for Mayor Chris Spearman and a delegation of local business and community representatives. The group provided an overview of their work overseas to City Council today.
Visiting both China and Japan from February 12-25, the Lethbridge team made excellent connections in the areas of economic development and education.
"This trip was a very valuable venture for our community as a whole," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "Not only were we able to make important business and educational connections, but we also built very strong relationships with many partners in Asia."
The group was well received and welcomed with many meeting requests and strong media coverage throughout the trip. The delegation from Lethbridge included: City of Lethbridge, Lethbridge County, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge College, Lethbridge School District 51, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division No. 4, Economic Development Lethbridge, SouthGrow Regional Initiative, Transmark Ltd., Skiertech, Golden Ant Inc., Starfield Magrath Ltd. and Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.
In total, the City of Lethbridge spent $25,779 on the mission to Asia including travel expenses for three City representatives, gifts, guide services, simultaneous translation, meeting space and catering costs. Travel expenses incurred will come from existing budgets.
"I want to make sure our residents understand that this was a very busy, and very productive trip. You can ask anyone who came with us - it was not a holiday," says Mayor Spearman. "For the price of the trip, we got great bang for our buck. We can now build on those valuable connections in the coming months and transform them into new opportunities for Lethbridge."
A large number of investment inquiries were generated by the mission to Asia and Economic Development Lethbridge is following-up with all inquiries. Three delegations have already expressed interest in coming to Lethbridge for various site tours and several Chinese companies have requested additional information on investment opportunities in southern Alberta.
Gerald Gauthier, Communications Consultant