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Woodstock Mayor Builds Relations in Asia

Woodstock Mayor Trevor Birtch in Taiwan

Every couple of years, representatives from Southern Ontario Marketing Alliance, including the Mayor of Woodstock head to Asia for a trade mission.

WOODSTOCK - The Mayor of Woodstock had a successful trip to Asia this past month. 

Trevor Birtch was in Taiwan and Japan, along with other members of SOMA for a trade mission. 

"This is our bi-annual SOMA trade mission. SOMA is the Southern Ontario Marketing Alliance. We come together as a region with our neighbours in St. Thomas, Stratford, Tillsonburg, Ingersoll and we head over to Asia to talk about new opportunities for investments in our area, as well as make special stops at the existing investors that we have, the companies already located in our municipalities." 

There is opportunity to bring more investments to Canada, Birtch says Woodstock is open for trade business. 

"We were in Taiwan, met with a lot of companies there, they have a lot of concerns right now with the trade relationship between the United States and China, so we are finding ways to see some of those opportunities right now." 

Birtch says the trip was a big success. 

"We have a lot of opportunity for Taiwanese investors to bring their investments from China, here to Canada, so they can enter the North American market without tariffs. So that part of the trip was a big success, we might be seeing some visitors in the Friendly City and other areas in the region in the coming year."

Birtch says they spent some time in Japan. 

"For a lot of those meetings, of course they are top secret, they have selected any sites, but they know they want to look in our area. These are warm contacts, some of them we have met with already, once or twice in the past. So hopefully some good things will be coming out of that." 

Birtch says they also had some great visits with the companies already invested in the region.

"One thing we hear loud and clear, every time we go on this bi-annual trade mission, is the face to face contact and the help the city offers directly with these businesses, has put us up on the top shelf compared to other locations. When you look at the expansion of companies in the United States and the rest of Canada, it pales in comparison to the expansion we have, right here in Woodstock." 

Birtch says he looks forward to greeting some of these individuals to Woodstock in the New Year and heading back to Asia in two years. 

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