PHILADELPHIA — On October 20, Mayor Kenney and representatives from the City’s Department of Commerce will depart for a multi-city international business trip with stops in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Philadelphia officials will spend time in nine cities, including: Dublin, Clonmel, Athlone and Cork in Ireland, Derry City and Belfast in Northern Ireland, and London, Reading and Cambridge in England.
The main focus of the trip is business development, with additional activities planned to support city-to-city relationship building and tourism promotion. City officials will be overseas October 20-29. Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Select Greater Philadelphia and the PHLCVB are also conducting parallel missions in Ireland and the U.K. and will join the City delegation for several activities at various points throughout the trip.
“The opportunities in Ireland and the U.K. to attract businesses to Philadelphia and raise our city’s international profile are outstanding,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Both of these countries contribute greatly to our local economy through the jobs tied to U.K. and Ireland-based companies, as well as tourism-related spending. Philadelphia thrives in part thanks to our connections to communities across the globe, and I look forward to strengthening our relationships with partners in the nine cities we are visiting.”
Over 95% of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, and as a result, international business opportunities are vital to the continued growth of domestic businesses. The U.K. is the top foreign direct investment source market for Pennsylvania, with companies creating more jobs in the commonwealth than any other country. Both the U.K. and Ireland are top markets for business development activity in Philadelphia based on research conducted during the City’s participation in the Brookings Global Cities Initiative market prioritization cohort earlier this year. Additionally, Philadelphia welcomes the most overseas visitors from the U.K. The PHLCVB is currently in the midst of a month-long tourism generation campaign in the U.K. that includes several activities planned around the Eagles game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium and a stop at World Travel Market – one of the largest annual global travel trade shows.
“We have seen a number of international business leads following previous trips to Europe, Asia, and Canada; and we hope to replicate that success with our time spent in Ireland and the U.K.,” said Commerce Director Harold T. Epps. “Philadelphia must continue to explore opportunities for business development, not only beyond city and state boundaries, but across the globe. Our economy is ever-changing, and the success of our city will increasingly be tied to our international reach.”
While overseas, Philadelphia officials will partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development on five international business seminars focused on attracting businesses to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. They will participate in more than 35 additional meetings with private companies, local governments, universities, technology centers, and other partner organizations. Mayor Kenney will also attend the Eagles game as a guest of the PHLCVB, where he will have the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The following people will be part of Philadelphia’s official delegation:
- Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia
- Vaughn Ross, Deputy Chief of Staff, Mayor’s Office, City of Philadelphia
- Harold T. Epps, Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia
- Sylvie Gallier Howard, First Deputy Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia
- Lauren Swartz, Senior Director of International Business, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
- Pierre-Olivier Lugez, Manager of International Business, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
The City will cover travel costs for these six City employees. The total estimated cost for the trip is $35,000.