By Ian Ross
Technology transfer and joint-venture partnerships will be on the minds of a German trade delegation from the Elbe-Elster region expected to arrive in Sudbury this month.
In a return trade mission stemming from last fall's Northern Ontario exploratory trip to Germany last year, six German delegates specializing in the energy, education and tourism fields will spend a whirlwind week in Sudbury and parts of northeastern Ontario from Sept. 17 to 21, prospecting for Canadian partners.
Led by Heinz-Peter Schreiber, an international diplomatic and trade broker, the group will sandwich road trips to
the North Bay-West Nipissing area and Manitoulin Island around a series of business-to-business meetings at Sudbury's Holiday Inn.
Expected on the mission from Germany are experts and specialists in agricultural and forest products, hydroelectric generation, training and education and tourism. About 25 business owners and agency representatives from Sudbury, North Bay, Parry Sound, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and a number of First Nations communities are expected to renew acquaintances from the 2000 mission.
The group will spend part of a day meeting with West Nipissing farmers interested in investigating how German seed and canola oil technology is used as an industrial fire retardant. During a scouting trip to Sudbury in May,
Schreiber told a group of businessmen and government officials that the many small- and medium-sized companies situated in the former East Germany have a keen interest in forming transatlantic alliances with the intent of exchanging knowledge and technology, not just selling goods in the North American market.
A civic 'agreement of partnership' is expected to be signed to open doors to tourism and education developments, business partnerships and general co-operation in economic development between the two regions. Education and training factor in heavily, considering Sudbury's need for skilled tradespeople, Finley says.
Tourism also offers tremendous potential in exposing more Germans to the wilderness of Northern Ontario.