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Cape Coral bumps back, downsizes, trip to China

By Staff | Apr 11, 2019

The trip to China by a delegation of Cape Coral city officials is still a go but will take place later than originally planned with fewer people likely to go.

Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello said the trip to Cape Coral’s sister city of Baise, planned for the first week in May, ran into a timing conflict, as it coincided with Labour Day in China, a public holiday.

The trip is now expected to take place sometime in the next two months.

Coviello said this doesn’t represent a postponement, since the trip was never officially approved by City Council, but rather just discussed and not set in stone.

“I don’t know where it came from that the trip was postponed. It was only being discussed. I think maybe someone jumped the gun,” Coviello said. “It was said that it would be postponed until the fall. We’re targeting the end of May or the beginning of June.”

Coviello also added that, as the China delegation did in February by bringing just three delegates, Cape Coral will send a small delegation to consist of the mayor and some other economic representatives from the city.

“The economic development office was driving this whole trip and it was moved to the mayor’s office. I believe this should not be a huge delegation of people going over to China. They had a chairman and two directors,” Coviello said. “It could be the EDO and the director of Community Development and perhaps an administrative person along with myself.”

Originally, the idea was for area businesses to go, at their own expense. Coviello didn’t agree.

“Businesses can go whenever they want. They really won’t be a part of this group because we’re in the infancy stage of developing a relationship,” Coviello said. “There’s no need to bring an entourage at this time.”

Coviello said there are some meetings that have to be held and an itinerary laid out, as well as an assigned date for the trip, which would have to be approved by City Council.

Coviello said the city could use the $4,000 leftover from the budgeted allocated for the Chinese delegation’s here, and that airfare would be the only thing for which the city would be liable.

“We know there could be an economic upside to this, but we want to be sure we keep the costs down and see the direction of this will go,” Coviello said, adding that it cost the city $6,000 ft host the Chinese delegation, much less than the $10,000 the city budgeted.