Just days after returning from a trade trip to the United Kingdom and Israel, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced today that his next venture will be to the Panama Canal, with Vice President Joe Biden.
"I was pleased and honored to get a call from Vice President Biden, asking if I would travel with him for a significant discussion regarding the Panama Canal expansion and the new, exciting business opportunities for the City of Philadelphia’s port," said Mayor Nutter in a statement.
On Monday, Nutter and the mayors of two other U.S. cities -- Baltimore and Atlanta -- will join Biden on the trip, which is a 2-day tour. The canal's expansion will double the capacity of the canal which means larger ships can pass through to call on U.S. ports. The goal, Nutter says, is job creation at Philly's port.
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"There is great potential to increase economic activity at our port and create good wage-paying jobs for Philadelphians. I look forward to working with the Vice President and my fellow mayors from across the country to advocate for increasing American business activity and investment in our infrastructure and transportation systems in order to boost our economy and put Americans to work."
Nutter returned on Tuesday from a 10-day trip to Israel and the UK to promote the city, attract investment and talk about trade opportunities for Philadelphia businesses.
"The world is getting to know Philadelphia, and we need to be much more aggressive in promoting ourselves and telling our story,” Nutter said in a news conference about the trip. “Based on the feedback we received from the Philadelphia businesses that joined the delegation, as well as what we heard from UK and Israeli companies that we met with, the trade mission was a great success. There is tremendous interest in our city, and we must get used to the fact that Philadelphia is a global city a player on the international stage."
Nutter returned with a verbal agreement from a group of Israeli venture capitalists who are now considering a two-day symposium in Philadelphia early next year to take a closer look at potential local business opportunities. Drexel University and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia also sealed a written agreement to collaborate with an Israeli university on pediatric research.