International Dignitaries visit North Central Massachusetts

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Photo: Owen Richardson, VP of Sales & Marketing at Laddawn, welcomes the tour 

Last week, state officials accompanied members of the New England Consular Corps on an all-day field trip to North Central Massachusetts to learn about the region’s business opportunities, hospitality amenities and local companies. Twenty-five diplomatic and commercial representatives of 16 countries participated to learn about the region’s skilled workforce, quality of life and the advantages of locating a business in North Central Massachusetts

Countries represented on the tour included Brazil; Cabo Verde; Columbia; Ireland; Japan; Mexico; Nepal; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; South Korea; Taiwan; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; and the United Kingdom.

They visited Quiet Logistics in Devens, to learn about its Quiet Brand Incubator, a new program launched in 2016 to support innovative e-commerce startups; Laddawn, Inc. in Devens, which manufactures recyclable plastic films and bags for industrial, food, medical, and institutional markets; Boutwell Owens of Fitchburg, a manufacturer of printed paperboard packaging; and Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg for a lunch and presentation about the region.

The tour finished with a trip to the summit of Mount Wachusett to witness the beautiful fall foliage and scenic views of the region, with a special reception with local business leaders hosted by Wachusett Ski Area.

State economic development officials on the tour included Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development & International Trade; Mark Sullivan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI); Francois Nivaud, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT); and Peter Milano, Senior Director of Business Development at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.

“The Massachusetts Office of Business Development is proud to showcase business opportunities throughout the Commonwealth and the recent tour of North Central Massachusetts with the New England Consular Corps is one of the many ways we spotlight our manufacturing companies, visitor destinations and recreation areas that underscore everything Massachusetts has to offer,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and International Trade.

President & CEO Roy Nascimento of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce called the trip “an exciting opportunity to showcase North Central Massachusetts to an international audience of diplomats and business representatives. We have a number of international businesses already thriving in our region and believe that this is a dynamic region to invest and grow a business.”

MOITI Executive Director Mark Sullivan said, “Our office works closely with the consular corps year round, and these ongoing visits to different parts of Massachusetts provide a good setting to showcase business and investment opportunities for foreign companies.”

Acting Vice Consul Susan Krusell from the Consulate General of Ireland said the tour “enhanced my understanding of all that Massachusetts has to offer…. The businesses showcased were all cutting-edge innovators in technology, manufacturing and sporting hospitality. I was especially impressed by each firm’s leadership and appreciated their openness in sharing why the North Central Massachusetts location benefited employee quality of life as well as the business bottom line. Upon return, I shared information about some firms and the region with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin and partner organizations here in the state.”

Executive Director Francois Nivaud of MOTT said the North Central Massachusetts region was a popular destination “for tourists interested in four-season outdoor activities such as foliage tours, skiing and hiking; farm-to-table culinary activities; and dozens of museums and cultural venues in cities and towns.”

The tour was co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) along with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and its economic development affiliates the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA).

For more information on the economic development tour, please contact the North Central Massachusetts Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 244 or visit northcentralmass.com.

To learn about international investment opportunities in Massachusetts, contact Mark Sullivan at MOITI by calling 617-973-8543.