Economic summit fosters international relations

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - On Friday in Hattiesburg, members of a visiting delegation from South Africa participated in an economic summit at the Lake Terrace Convention Center.

The nine member delegation is from the city of Ladysmith, South Africa. They are in the Pine Belt this week to develop business, cultural, and educational relationships.

The City of Hattiesburg, Area Development Partnership and regional businesses in concert with other groups worked together to make this visit possible. Chad Newell is the President of the ADP.

"I'm glad that they were able to bring several businesses from Ladysmith. And so we'll have an opportunity to interact with them and see if there could be some possible business synergies for us down the road," said Newell.

Some companies hope this trip will establish a meaningful exchange between the two cities. Leif Munkel is the Communications Coordinator for Southern Pine Electric Power Association. That is one of the businesses participating in the summit.

According to Munkel, "Southern Pine right now is working towards a lot of advancements in changing out it's metering systems, going to digital meters, going to what is called smart meters. And over there in South Africa, just talking with their delegation, these are some of the things they would like to implement. And any information that we are able to give them not only benefits them, but also benefits us."

The delegation departs Hattiesburg on Saturday.

Copyright 2010 WDAM. All rights reserved.