Mayor Michael Nutter. Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro.
Mayor Michael Nutter is heading to the United Kingdom and Israel Friday for two weeks to lead a trade mission.
He’ll join Jack Ferguson, CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, in attending the travel expo World Travel Market in London. The mayor will spend the majority of his time in England, visiting with companies that have already expressed an interest in opening offices in Philadelphia.
Some of those companies, such as Aberdeen Asset Management, energy efficiency expert Mark Group and Glaxo-Smith Kline, already have offices here.
“They are either interested in growing or someone new [may be] looking to establish an office in North America, said Alan Greenberger, deputy mayor. “Health care, life sciences, technology, energy, and energy efficiency companies are especially interested because of Philadelphia’s expertise in these areas.”
The highlight of the Israel segment of the trip, from Nov. 7-11, will be the signing of a new research agreement with Hebrew University by Drexel University’s President John Fry and Children’s Hospital CEO Steven Altschuler. Hebrew University researchers and alumni have been awarded nine Nobel Prizes.
Nutter will attend the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, allowing him to meet Jewish leaders from around the country. He will also attend meetings with leading Israel venture capitalists.
While American companies are exporting jobs, Israeli companies are bringing marketing and technology jobs here.
A 2012 Temple University report recommended that Mayor Nutter conduct a trade mission to Israel. They found there were 59 Israeli companies in the region, including pharmaceutical giant Teva, which created 2,200 jobs.
The total economic impact to the region was $1.6 billion in 2011.
Footing the bill
Select Greater Philadelphia is picking up the tab for the trip. Despite no taxpayer funds being used, some have criticized the mayor for leaving during the school crisis.
“In an increasingly competitive global economic environment, we can not sit idly by and expect businesses to come to us and win people’s trust and interest,” Greenberger said.