Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum is in Taiwan this week at an international conference billed as a way to create new business opportunities.
The Asia Pacific Cities Summit in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, started Monday and lasts through Wednesday. There, Buxbaum was scheduled to moderate a panel called “Harbor City Dialogue — Critical Path for Asia’s Marine Cities,” according to a news release. More than 68 cities from five continents will be there.
Funding for the trip is being provided by the summit, the release says. The summit has a variety of sponsors, including manufacturers of steel and semiconductors, and the tourism industry.
Michael Cade, executive director of the Thurston County Economic Development Council, said the Taiwan government’s equivalent of a consulate — the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle — approached Buxbaum in a letter about attending the conference.
“It’s a face to face, very intense three days of conversation.” Cade said.
The conference has been held biennially for the past 17 years. It was founded by the Brisbane (Australia) City Council as a way for creating new business relationships, according to its website.
“The agenda is developed around fostering relationships,” Cade said.
He said this is the first time the city of Olympia has been represented at the conference, but Seattle is a frequent participant and Bremerton has been represented.
Before the trip, Buxbaum met with representatives from the Port of Olympia, Thurston County Economic Development Council, Saint Martin’s University and the lieutenant governor’s office, according to the news release.
Cade said Buxbaum will share what he learned after he returns.
“It’s a big deal,” he said, “and I’m very pleased that the mayor could make it.”
Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 firstname.lastname@example.org