(Updated) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday he will be traveling to Davos, Switzerland to participate in the annual World Economic Forum where he plans to promote the state’s bio-science initiatives.
The governor was invited to the event, which will take place from Jan. 25 to Jan. 29. The UConn Foundation will pay for Malloy to attend at a cost of about $4,500, according to a press release. Because Malloy was invited to attend he doesn’t have to pay the hefty $50,000 admission fee.
“I’ve been invited to participate in three panels and I intend to scramble to make sure that people are aware that Connecticut’s open for business,” he said after an unrelated press conference.
“I want people to understand that Connecticut has attributes that many other states don’t have and specifically with a concentration on precision manufacturing and aerospace and what that represents,” he said.
Malloy said the conference will give him a chance to talk with international leaders about the manufacturing industry as well as the state’s recent deal to bring Maine-based Jackson Labs to a new facility at the UConn Health Center in Farmington.
“I want to use this opportunity to make sure people know that Connecticut has a major bio-science initiative, which has already garnered some international recognition specifically around the issue of Jackson Labs,” he said.
The governor said he believes the state is on its way to becoming a leader in the bio-science field.
The conference will be attended by more than 2,600 people from close to 100 different countries. Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith will also be attending the event. Malloy said he believed Daniel Esty, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was going “in his own capacity.”
Malloy will also be attending a private industry meeting called “Manufacturing for Growth.” The meeting will include executives from the manufacturing and supply chain industries as well as policy-makers, the press release said.
Before he goes Malloy may want to read the BBC’s “Beginners’ Guide to Davos.”
Written by Tim Weber the guide recommends bringing warm clothes and plenty of business cards.
“The biggest problem for a newcomer is to avoid being overwhelmed,” Weber writes. “More than 280 official sessions have been crammed into five days, and then there is the lure of dozens of private parties and networking events every day.”
And while Malloy is going to Switzerland to promote Connecticut, there are some who are questioning the timing of the trip.
“And once again, when the going gets tough the Governor gets going — this time, he’s off to Washington tomorrow for a union gala and next week to Davos, Switzerland for an exclusive $20,000 gathering at a luxurious Swiss ski resort,” GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. said in a statement. “The governor’s appreciation for travel makes Conrad Hilton look like a recluse.”
Labriola cited the recent consensus budget estimates with show Connecticut teetering on the verge of a $95 million deficit.
“The millions of over-taxed hardworking families of this state deserve better,” he said.
“Gov. Malloy spent the first 13 months of his term cleaning up the financial wreckage he inherited from the last two Republican Governors who, over the course of 16 years, hid the truth from the people of Connecticut about just how much trouble Connecticut was in. And in fact they made it worse,” Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s senior communications advister countered. “Where is Connecticut today? Thanks to Gov. Malloy – and some very courageous legislators – the state is keeping its books honestly for the first time ever. ”