WABASH - Wabash Mayor Scott Long will this fall lead a delegation on a trade mission to Asia. Long says the trip, which will be the first of its kind for leaders from throughout Wabash County, has been a key focus of his administration.

The group will include leaders from the Honeywell Foundation, Grow Wabash County, Wabash City Schools, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and local businesses. The delegation will meet with business and government officials in Japan and China during the trip.

"We’ve worked with Grow Wabash County and our business and community leaders to lay the groundwork for new opportunities for the City and our greater Wabash County community," said Long. "This strategy has been successful in a number of communities around the state, and with our great business climate here in Indiana and the foreign investment that we have already in Wabash County I felt the time was right to take this bold step."

The city says the delegation will meet with with companies that currently have a presence in Wabash County in an effort to explore opportunities for expansion and educational collaborations. It will also visit the headquarters for Oji Intertech, which has a presence in North Manchester.

The second leg of the trip will see the delegation travel to China, where the city will continue efforts to establish a sister-city relationship with Linhai City. The Chinese city is a suburb of Taizhou, which already has a sister-city relationship with Fort Wayne. The trip will conclude with each city signing an official Memorandum of Understanding to establish "friendly and cooperative relations" between the two, which will mark the first step in forming an official sister-city relationship.

"We expect to host a delegation from Linhai City here in Wabash in the near future for them to see and experience all we have to offer in Wabash County," said Long. "We know that this is the first of many steps to cement our relationship with Linhai City, but this groundwork is necessary if we want to pursue the many opportunities that having a sister-city relationship with a Chinese city can bring.”