Local businesses seek trade opportunities in Missouri

  • Nov. 6, 2013 5:22 p.m.

A delegation of five companies from Central Alberta visited Missouri alongside Central Alberta: Access Prosperity. Over the course of five days, the delegation visited nine Missouri cities and towns, met with 12 businesses, conducted numerous site visits and toured the University of Missouri’s 3‐D prototyping lab.

Building on a relationship Access Prosperity has developed with Missouri International Trade and Investment over the past four years, the delegation strived to connect local companies with strategically aligned Missouri companies to develop connections and discover international trade opportunities.

O‐NET, a fibre optic telecommunication company based in Olds, joined the delegation to increase awareness of its services and seek partnerships with similar companies. “O‐NET realized tremendous value participating in the Mission to Missouri. We returned with strong supply leads, expansion and partnership opportunities as well as a wealth of new ideas,” said Mitch Thomson, O‐NET trade mission delegate.

Delegates met with and toured companies ranging from carbon fibre manufacturers to a landfill gas recovery and power generation facility. Organizers strived to connect businesses with complementary products and services, introduce Central Alberta’s delegates to local economic developers, and establish a connection between University of Missouri and Red Deer College.

Each company sponsored an RDC student representative who conducted research prior to the mission, as well as traveled to Missouri to experience hands‐on networking, economic development and conducting business internationally. The RDC students also had the opportunity to meet with MU students.

Scott Getschel, with Fiber-Werx International Inc., said he was happy to have taken the opportunity to go on the trip.

“Just prior to leaving in the trip I had started having second thoughts about going. It was not the best time to be leaving, with a number of changes going on within my business,” he said.

“I am happy to say that in the end I did go and am glad that I did. The mission exceeded my expectations. Not only did I manage to make a few key contacts for my business, but more importantly, I began developing relationships and friendships with the participants of our group, both students and fellow business people that I sincerely hope will continue long into the future.

“This interaction was without a doubt been a learning experience for everyone, myself included. I would highly recommend for other small business owners to partake because you never know where opportunity will present itself.”

George Van Campen, operations manager with Alberta Flares in Ponoka, said he enjoyed the trip.

“I think everyone would agree the mission was a success for all involved. The mission was action-packed, full of very interesting and relevant companies as well as giving great opportunities through the networking of several economic development representatives for the Missouri region. Cheers to Central Alberta Access Prosperity and Mark Wine from the International Trade and Investment Office for Missouri for organizing such a great mission.”

– Fawcett