A recent trip to Missouri by the Economic Development Officer of the Town of Ponoka could generate a major potential of business expansion for local economy.
“I am really proud to say that our community has had such an excellent opportunity to make business relations with Missouri, specifically because we are a small community but we have a lot to offer,” said Sarah Olson, who represented Town of Ponoka in the composition of a business delegation that visited Missouri between Oct.19 and 26.
Agriculture, oil and gas, plant and animal science as well as nutraceuticals and manufacturing partnerships turned out to be major areas of common interest for businesses both in central Alberta and those in Missouri, according to Olson. Possibilities of joint ventures also remain a possible promising area.
Business relations between the two regions could develop in the form of trade, attraction of Missouri businesses who might be willing to expand in Canada or expansion of local business in the Missouri area.
Having met numerous contacts during the trip, Olson says she is now busy informing the local business community of the potential for business expansion between Missouri and central Alberta.
State of Missouri is already a major trade partner for Canada with the US state exporting about $4.1 billion worth of goods and services to Canada in 2012. In return, Canada’s exports to Missouri seem to have totaled about $3 billion in the same period.
As one of the interesting points of potential cooperation, Olson said some Missouri businesses were very interested in talking to University of Alberta on nano-technology.
Olson reminded that Ponoka’s local airport has a unique privilege in Central Alberta of turning into a potential international airport for business travelers, thanks to its involvement in the Canpass program, adding that this characteristic of the Ponoka community was pleasantly received by the business people of Missouri.
“A couple of companies were very interested to hear about our Canpass certification,” she said.