ANDERSON — For the first time since taking office in 2016, Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. is planning two overseas trips in hopes of luring foreign investment in the city.
Broderick, Greg Winkler, executive director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, and Rob Sparks, executive director of the Corporation for Economic Development, are traveling to Italy on Monday for a week.
There is a scheduled five-day trip in May to Japan.
The trip to Italy is being paid for from the city’s share of food and beverage tax revenues.
“I was encouraged to take an overseas trip last year,” Broderick said Wednesday. “I didn’t think it was appropriate at the time and I wanted to go with a real purpose.”
Broderick said there is a legitimate reason to make the trip to Italy this year, and local officials will be meeting with at least three companies the city is negotiating with.
“We wanted to show them a commitment and to help bring these companies here,” he said. “There is absolutely an interest from these companies. We’re finding with international companies that Anderson has built a reputation.
“The companies that have located in Anderson are finding success and that this is a good community to locate in and do business,” Broderick said.
The three Italian companies that have located in Anderson, Technoplast, Sirmax and Italpollina, have helped lay the groundwork, he said.
“They have put us in a position of putting our foot in the door,” Broderick said. “It will be great if we can come back with an announcement.”
Local officials are meeting with six or seven companies and two trade associations in Italy, Winkler said.
Sparks said the trip will serve as a follow-up with the companies already in Anderson, as well as a chance to make new connections.
“We want to reach out and build those relationships,” he said. “We have a great record of attracting foreign investments.
Regarding the trip to Japan, Broderick said the city has a good relationship with companies based there.
“There is a strong potential for future development,” he said. “We’re excited that companies from both Italy and Japan are talking about expansion of their existing businesses.”
Broderick said companies that are just getting ready to start operations in Anderson like Italpollina, NTN Driveshaft and NTK Precision Axle are already talking about further expansions.