Byline: SION BARRY Business Editor
MINISTER for Economic Development Andrew Davies will this week meet executives from American specialist vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh, which is planning to create hundreds of jobs in Wales.
As part of a 16-day visit to North America which starts today, Mr Davies will hold talks with Oshkosh executives in Winconsin.
The company, which already has a presence in South Wales where it assembles refuse-collecting vehicles, has emerged as a favourite to win a lucrative contract to build a fleet of heavy vehicles for the Ministry of Defence. The contract would create hundreds of jobs and it is understood that Oshkosh would centre its new MoD factory operation in Wales.
Senior management from the company have already been on a factfinding visit to Wales and are said to have been impressed by the publicsector support they received.
It is understood that Oshkosh has already earmarked a site alongside the M4 corridor in South Wales for the potential operation.
During Mr Davies's visit, which is aimed at promoting stronger business ties between Wales and North America, he will also hold talks with Newbridge-born telecommunications and electronics billionaire Sir Terry Matthews. He will unveil the location of Wales's first International Centre in New York, which is designed to give Wales a high-profile presence in New York and other key cities around the globe.
He will also visit Welsh companies exhibiting at the Chicago Trade Fair, launching a Visit Wales radio campaign by the Wales Tourist Board, and attend Chicago's official event to commemorate September 11.
The transatlantic business visit will take in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Toronto and Ottawa.
Mr Davies will also be blazing a trail for Welsh medical companies in Minnesota ahead of a forthcoming WalesTrade International mission and inviting the business community of Philadelphia to visit Wales on an inward trade campaign.
He said yesterday, ``America is known as the land of opportunity and I am excited about the many opportunities that my visit will bring Wales. …