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EU ambassadors talk economic opportunities with Delaware port operators, state officials

Gov. John Carney (right) talks with European Union Ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis (left)
Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media
Gov. John Carney (right) talks with European Union Ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis (left)

Representatives of the European Union visited Delaware Monday to discuss economic and cultural connections between the First State and Europe.

One stop was the Port of Wilmington, where a handful of ambassadors watched shipping containers be loaded onto ships and talked with port operators.

Many of the products that come through the Port of Wilmington are from South America. But the Edgemoor container port currently going through the permitting process will be deeper and able to accept ships from Asia and Europe, says CEO of GT USA Wilmington Joe Cruise.

Cruise spoke to the ambassadors about the port’s planned expansion.

“The message that we were trying to get out today is, the Port of Wilmington is open for business,” he said. “We’ve been working very hard to create additional space on the terminal in order to import and export new commodities.”

Emily Haber, German ambassador to the US, describes her tour of the port as a “magnificent experience.”

“Everything I heard today showed me that Delaware will be a resilient, reliable partner in the time as we move on from the pandemic,” she said after the event.

Stavros Lambrinidis, ambassador of the European Union to the United States, said Monday morning that the trip was the first time representatives from all 27 EU member nations visited Delaware together.

He said the goal was building relationships and discussing shared concerns such as climate change and economic recovery from the pandemic.

“We’re here to celebrate the deep economic, cultural, innovation and other connections that Europe has with Delaware,” Lambrinidis said. “We EU ambassadors decided to go down local and to celebrate those connections, and frankly, to plant the seeds for a future relationship between the EU and Delaware that I expect will be even stronger than today.”

“What a great opportunity for me as Governor to have a captive audience representing so many of these countries from the European Union, to talk about the advantages of Delaware, to talk about business opportunities for businesses from those countries,” said Gov. John Carney.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Joe Cruise's title with GT USA.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.