Chamber’s ‘impossible’ trade mission goes virtual
Liz McAreavey: ‘we must plan for recovery’ (pic: Terry Murden)
An Edinburgh trade mission to Philadelphia, which was due to take place today, is still going ahead as a virtual event.
Members of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Scottish North American Business Council will now connect via online video sessions. There will be one-to-one B2B meetings between organisations in the two cities.
Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the United States and the largest city in Pennsylvania, with a population of more than 1.5 million people. In recent years it has seen a rise of new industries, such as biotechnology.
Following on from its successful trade mission to Shenzhen in China in November, the chamber was looking to run further trade missions this year, with Dublin, Munich and Dubai all earmarked alongside Philadelphia. The chamber is now looking at whether it can facilitate these missions remotely as well.
Liz McAreavey, chief executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “These are extraordinary and uncertain times, and current conditions obviously meant it was impossible for this trade mission to be carried out as we originally planned. However, we are determined to do all we can to support business and build resilience for the future.
“We must take every opportunity for Scottish businesses to grow our exporting base, and it is important we use time now to plan for recovery. It is great that we have the resource to carry on with our mission, where businesses from across Scotland and Philadelphia can look to access new markets and build strong relationships via digital platforms.
“I’m certain we will all find new ways to carry on and this will change the future landscape. As always, great challenge drives greater innovation and opportunities.”
Allan Hogarth, executive director of the Scottish North American Business Council, said: “The USA is Scotland’s biggest export market and we were determined that all the hard work in connecting Scottish companies with potential customers and partners in Philadelphia was not lost by the postponement of the mission.”
Joseph Burke of the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development, said: “We really appreciate the effort by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Scottish North American Business Council to make sure that the opportunities to strengthen the commercial links between us were not lost by the postponement of the mission. We look forward to welcoming them all over when the current situation has abated.”