Mayor Michael A. Nutter and six other city employees are leaving Friday night for their 10-day trade mission to London and Israel.
The trip, in which city officials will be accompanied by various city business representatives, will be focused on recruiting companies to set up shop in Philadelphia and help businesses here expand their work overseas. Partnership pacts will also be signed between universities and hospitals here and in Israel.
The Philadelphia delegation arrives in London on Saturday and will travel to Tel Aviv on Nov. 6, returning to Philadelphia Nov. 12.
In London, Nutter and his staff will kick things off by unveiling a plaque at William Penn’s gravesite and on Sunday they will take a four-hour tour of London in PHL-wrapped cabs, according to the mayor’s schedule released by his staff.
Then on Monday, the business networking begins with a United Kingdom Economic Briefing, meeting and reception with UK’s Minister of State for Trade & Investment and attending the World Travel Market, a tourism conference.
In Israel, Nutter will be meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Ron Huldai, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro. He will also be part of a partnership announcement with CHOP, Drexel University and Hebrew University.
When Nutter announced his trip, he received some criticism from council and international business experts also questioned the effectiveness of trade missions.
Nutter and his staff have defended the trip saying it will benefit the residents of Philadelphia. Select Greater Philadelphia —— an economic-development marketing nonprofit group that markets the region as a place to do business and receives some funding from the city —— is picking up the tab for city officials.
"Mayors must be aggressive in going out and finding opportunities, championing their cities, and that's exactly what I intend to do in the United Kingdom and Israel,” Nutters said in a statement.
Residents can track the progress of the trade mission at http://phlinukandisrael.tumblr.com. In addition, tweets from the United Kingdom and Israel will include the hashtags #PHLinUK and #PHLinISRAEL respectively so that those interested in the trip can catch some details on Twitter.
The mayor's delegation will include:
- Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development
- Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities (Israel only)
- Desiree Peterkin-Bell, City Representative/Director of Communications
- Luke Butler, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development
- Shinjoo Cho, Director of International Investment, Department of Commerce
- Lauren Walker, Special Assistant to the Mayor
- Kait Privitera, Photographer
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