The recently completed business tour by a central Alberta delegation to the Midwestern US state of Missouri has raised hopes among local businesses that connections with various partners there could bring substantial benefits to central Alberta economy.
George Van Campen, Operations Manager at Alberta Flares, one of the business representatives who joined the mission, said the trip to Canada’s southern neighbour had proved to be promising in more than one aspect.
“Some of the companies we met were heavily automated, which gave us some insight into what we want to do as far as moving forward ourselves on the automation side (is concerned), “ he said.
Speaking of their plans to diversify their business activity, Van Campen also said the visit had provided excellent connections for the delegation representing Central Alberta businesses.
The trip, which was organized as part of a developing relationship between Central Alberta: Access Prosperity and the Missouri International Trade and Investment, came as a return visit for a trade and investment mission by a Missouri delegation to Alberta last year.
The Alberta delegation visited several cities in the course of the visit and met stakeholders in areas of both business and economic development.
Among the businesses and projects visited were University of Missouri’s 3-D prototyping lab, carbon fibre manufacturers and a landfill gas recovery and power generation facility.
Van Campen said the visit had shown that there were opportunities not only for bilateral trade but also for investments that could generate employment in central Alberta.
The visit also provided a rare opportunity for the students of the International Business Department of the Red Deer College to put their theoretical knowledge to practice.
Each company represented in the business delegation sponsored an RDC student representative who conducted research prior to the mission and traveled to Missouri to experience hands-on networking, economic development and conducting business internationally. The RDC students also had the opportunity to meet with University of Missouri students.
“The mission was very successful from my perspective,” said Van Campen.
“The opportunities are there for both sides to work on.”