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Opening Wabash to the world

Opening Wabash to the world

An exchange student program, contact with the parent company of a local industry and the creation of a sister city for the City of Wabash.

Those are just some of the things to come from a two-week trade mission between representatives of the City of Wabash and officials with cities in Japan and China.

The delegation left in early November and returned shortly before Thanksgiving. It’s first stop was five days in Japan, with the rest of the mission spent in China.

Members of the delegation – Mayor Scott Long, Grow Wabash County Executive Director Keith Gillenwater, Wabash City Schools Superintendent Jason Callahan, Honeywell Foundation Executive Director Tod Minnich, Bob Mason, The Ford Meter Box Co.’s International Sales Manager, and Lisa Ford – met with members of the media on Tuesday, Nov. 27, to discuss the trip.

“I think moving forward, we’re going to open up Wabash to the world and the world up to Wabash,” Long said. “This is the initial step toward that.”

Sister city program
During the mission, Long and the mayor of Linhai City in China signed a declaration forming a sister city program between the two locations.

“I think the opportunities are endless on all fronts, from arts and culture to education and economic development to the sister city relationship,” Long said.

He noted that he and Linhai City Mayor Mei Shimiao already share a common bond, in that they are both former police officers.

“I found out he had been an officer for six years in China,” Long said. “That kind of knocked the wall down because I had mentioned I was a retired police officer.”

Plans are already underway, the mayor noted, to host a delegation from Linhai City, probably sometime in the spring of 2019.

“We’ll send a written invitation to have a delegation from there to come over next year, and they’re ready to do that,” he said.

This article is originally posted and taken from The Paper of Wabash County Inc.