World Trade Center Utah and Local Businesses to Forge Ties with Canada

Salt Lake City—The World Trade Center Utah and 16 local companies will be heading to the Great White North next week to forge stronger economic relationships with our neighboring country.

During the week of Sept. 12, the trade mission, led by Gov. Gary Herbert, will meet with Canadian authorities and businesses as the companies make connections with potential clients and customers. This trade mission will be larger than past missions, which normally have around eight to 10 companies in tow. Among the companies going to Canada next week are inWhatLanguage, a tech firm specializing in language translation; Amplexo, an organic food and natural supplement company; and Beddy’s, a company selling patented zippered linens that strive to make making beds easier.

Derek Miller, CEO of World Trade Center Utah, said the mission, as with previous trade missions to China and Western Europe, aims to help grow and diversity Utah’s economy. But with any trade mission, companies need to learn the ropes of doing business in a foreign country—even one so close and similar to the U.S. as Canada. To that end, the group will be getting a briefing from the Canadian Consulate, members of the staff at the U.S. Embassy, and at the Wells Fargo office in Toronto.

“The challenge or the risk to doing business really anywhere in the world is the unknown. That’s the greatest challenge, that’s the greatest risk. So in addition to taking these businesses with us to do this matchmaking, another part of what we do is educational,” he said. “The challenge is ignorance, so that’s what we try to overcome, is those unknowns.”

Toronto, North America’s third-largest city, has many similarities to Utah, particularly in its growing tech sector, Miller said. The trip will also coincide with the International Economic Forum’s annual meeting, this year taking place in Toronto, and Herbert has been asked to give an address at the event.

“Having the governor on a trade mission is always important because it opens a lot of doors for our companies, and that’s something that Gov. Herbert is always focused on: growing the economy and opportunities for local companies,” Miller said.

The timing of the trade mission is meaningful for Miller, who watched smoke rise from the Pentagon from his office across the Potomac River on Sept. 11, 2001, especially now that he is part of the World Trade Center organization. One of the best ways he has found to fight against the ever-looming threat of violence felt since that day, he said, is through promoting good trade relationships across borders.

“One of the best ways we help promote peace in the world is through building stability and prosperity, so that’s the role we feel we have to play,” he said. “The World Trade Center Utah is helping build trade relationships between Utah and other countries. It helps to build stability at home, it helps to build stability abroad, and I think it’s that kind of stability and prosperity that ultimately leads to peace.”