Premier's Jobs and Trade Mission strengthens Asian relations
Monday, November 21, 2011
VANCOUVER - Expanded relationships, business deals, agreements between universities, and new office openings were highlighted by Premier Christy Clark as successes achieved during the BC Jobs and Trade Mission to India and China.
"We set out on our jobs and trade mission to open doors, strengthen existing relationships, and set the stage for future success in China and India," said Premier Clark. "After being in Asia for nearly two weeks with hundreds of representatives from business, education, and cultural organizations, I can unequivocally state it was mission accomplished."
During the BC Jobs and Trade Mission more than 60 business deals and partnership agreements were signed or announced, while Premier Clark Premier attended approximately 70 events and meetings with business and political leaders.
One of these announcements was an agreement signed by Wavefront, the Vancouver-based national wireless centre of excellence, with the Cellular Operators Association of India to ease and speed up the flow of wireless business between Canada.
"The Premier's mission has increased the awareness of B.C.'s thriving wireless sector. Our announced agreement with COAI opens a great deal of opportunity for the accelerated growth of Canadian wireless companies," commented James Maynard, Wavefront president and CEO. "India is the second-largest wireless market in the world. Our agreement will enable us to help Canadian companies effectively access and navigate this complex and growing market."
Approximately 350 delegates, representing some 150 companies, organizations, and community groups, participated on the BC Jobs and Trade Mission, making it the largest international delegation in the province's history.
"In Asia, developing relationships are keys to success - and this was re-iterated while I was in China and India," added Premier Clark. "Business does not happen between strangers, and in Asia it's vital to demonstrate that companies and government are working together. This is why our government is proud to work with organizations such as Wavefront - to build these long-term and stable relationships that will lead to jobs here at home in B.C."
Another agreement achieved during the mission was a Memorandum of Understanding between Ballard Power Systems and Delta Power Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd. This MOU expands on the range of clean energy applications under an existing fuel cell system collaboration agreement by the companies, and builds on Ballard's recent sale of fuel cell backup power systems with Delta.
"Our agreement with Delta, a market leader in India, provides a strong beachhead for Ballard in that market," said John Sheridan, Ballad's president and CEO. "Our clean fuel cell power solutions will deliver strong value propositions to India customers in a variety of key application areas."
As in years past, forestry delegates focused on selling more lumber to China. During the BC Jobs and Trade Mission, forest companies sold approximately 1.46 million cubic metres of lumber, 47 per cent more than they did during a forestry-specific mission trade mission in November 2010.
"Although the specific portions vary by company, about a third of our production is going to China, which means jobs in our mills, contractor networks and in our communities," said Don Kayne, Canfor president and CEO. "As Chinese uptake in wood frame construction occurs, the potential for lumber demand is limitless."
Premier Clark left Vancouver for China on Nov. 4 and made stops in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. She arrived in India on Nov. 10 and attended events in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Bangalore, before returning to Vancouver on Nov. 18.
The BC Jobs and Trade Mission followed a commitment made in Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan. The focus of the mission was to strengthen existing relationships between B.C. and Asian markets, opening doors for new relationships and setting the stage for future opportunities in China and India.
A detailed list of the agreements reached and announcements will be posted on the BC Jobs along with Premier Clark's Jobs and Trade Mission itinerary by the end of November.
BC Jobs and Trade Mission: Highlights