Halton Hills September FDI Trade Mission

The Town of Halton Hills will be going on a trade mission to Germany in September. 

Plans are in the works for staff to attend two trade shows overseas this fall - IAA Mobility, specializing in transportation in Munich, and hy-fcell in Stuttgart, which focuses on hydrogen fuel cells.

“I will be going to both, so we're only going to have one person in-market,” Senior Economic Development Officer Graham Lowe told HaltonHillsToday. “Some of the connections that we made in Germany last year have allowed us to build relationships with some German state-level investment promotion agencies that we will be meeting with as well.” 

The trade mission is part of the Town’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy, where they sell Halton Hills as a desirable location to do business and generate investment leads. Last year in the fall, two staff members went on a similar mission to Germany and the Netherlands

The reason why the Netherlands was not included in the 2023 trip has to do with how the mission is organized. This time, Halton Hills and three other municipalities – London, Durham Region and Stratford – will be going under the Ontario Manufacturing Communities Alliance’s (OMCA) umbrella. 

“Germany is one of their predominant focus markets. Had we wanted to do something again in the Netherlands, that would have been a completely Town-led mission,” Lowe said.

He further explained that planning is undertaken by OMCA and its in-market reps, which greatly streamlines the trade mission.

The cost of the business trip will be $8,000. The Town has set aside half of the amount from its own finances. The other half will be from a federal grant. 

“When looking at the whole FDI picture, it's a relatively small investment that the Town is making to potentially attract a massive investment. Even one company coming in, that would really benefit the town,” Manager of Investment Attraction Tony Boutassis said. “We're attracting high-quality local jobs, which in turn generates the situation and funds to create a high quality of life as well.”

Lowe estimates that, typically, once an investment lead is generated it can take up to two to five years before a foreign company can begin to set up in Halton Hills. Much of the process involves laying the groundwork for the arrival of companies. Site selection, setting up local strategic alliances and financing, among other things, are some of the matters that need to be sorted out.

“We've got this pipeline of leads that we're servicing that I'm regularly following up with,” Lowe said.

Written by: Mansoor Tanweer