Town of Lincoln representatives are feeling optimistic about their role in a recent trade mission to China and Vietnam.
Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton and chief administrative officer Michael Kirkopoulos joined Premier Kathleen Wynne’s mission, which took place earlier this month, looking to create new partnerships in agricultural research and tourism.
Kirkopoulos describes it as “an opportunity to open doors for local and Ontario exporters.”
Two agreements were signed specific to Lincoln: the signing of a partnership agreement with the Chongqing Wine Association and the signing of a friendship agreement with future sister city Xijing.
Kirkopoulos says China is Ontario’s second largest trade partner after the United States in the “tens of billions of dollars,” adding that Lincoln’s wineries, breweries and agri-food businesses are positioned to capitalize on its “massive” demand for higher-end products.
He stresses that it’s about building relationships, noting that “this is the first time we’ve participated in something like this,” and “the first time a lot of our businesses are looking at international markets.”
The hope is that it will result in “increased exports for a lot of our businesses which inevitably means expansion, more jobs.”
In partnering with Xijing, Kirkopoulos says it’s about finding a city with a similar focus in the areas of agriculture and tourism which can promote future “investment between the two,” as they build a long-term relationship.
Kirkopoulos concludes that one thing he takes away from the trip is that we are in a “global economy,” and “doors get opened when you participate in missions like this,” and create “great opportunities.”