A Taiwanese official will be in the Sault Tuesday and Wednesday for preliminary discussions about the possibility of linking into the City's transpolar initiative.
Director Tso-Chen Chen of the Tapei Economic and Cultural Office's economic divsion will arrive tomorrow to "view and assess our community, learn more about the Transpolar Air Cargo initiative and prepare a briefing for the Department of Economic Affairs in Taiwan as to any possible interest in linking into our project," Mayor John Rowswell says.
Sault Ste. Marie City Council will be asked tonight to approve spending about $950 to house the director and other Taiwanese visitors during the two-day visit.
The Mayor cites a recent consultant's finding that the Sault could be the most cost-effective gateway between Asia and the Chicago and Atlanta markets if it reduced its landing fees.
Taiwanese media reports are negative
However, media reports from Taiwan cast cold water on the chances of Taiwan becoming involved anytime soon in transpolar flights.
A report two months ago in the Taipei Times quoted China Airlines officials as saying Taiwanese air carriers are not likely to benefit from transpolar routings because the country maintains no air agreements with Russia or China, through whose airspace their planes would have to travel on any transpolar flight.
"Taiwan is unlikely to formally sign any air pact with Russia or mainland China in the near future, making it almost impossible for the island's carriers to join their counterparts in the rest of the world in taking advantage of the shorter route," the newspaper quoted airline officials as saying.
Irish officials coming in September
In other international trade news, two officials from Louth County, Ireland will visit the Sault in September.
The Mayor's office advises that Louth County Administrator John Quinlivan and County Council Chair Jacquie McConcille will return a visit paid by a Sault delegation earlier this year.
And tonight's Council meeting is expected to approve Mayor Rowswell's attendance in October at the Fifth Annual Trade Corridors Conference in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Sessions at that gathering will deal with border security, Canada/U.S. Trade in the Post-9/11 era, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The Soo's News
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