Trade mission
Premier Christy Clark has returned from a China trade mission where she championed British Columbia’s capacity to help China in its pursuit of a cleaner and greener economy.

She drew on B.C.’s deep historical, cultural and economic ties to showcase B.C. technology and manufacturing companies who are well-positioned to meet China’s growing need for alternative energy and clean-technology solutions.

Significantly, Premier Clark signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Province of Guangdong that identifies climate change and low carbon development as areas of future co-operation, and Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat signed two MOUs with the City of Shenzhen – one on low-carbon development and clean technology co-operation; the other on trade and investment co-operation.Trade mission1

“Working together on addressing climate change and developing clean technology is a part of our province’s strategy to expand and diversify our trade relationship with China,” said Premier Clark. “We want to align B.C. companies with new opportunities in China’s developing clean-technology sector – and if the number of deals signed on this trade mission is any indication, there’s a bright future for B.C. companies wanting to expand into the Chinese market in these areas.”

n total, 45 events and signings took place on the trade mission across a variety of sectors, demonstrating the diversification that is taking place in B.C.’s trade relationship with China. Some of the agreements signed between technology companies include:

  • Burnaby-based Ballard Power Systems signed an agreement with CRRC Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co., Ltd. to provide fuel cell solution services valued at $3 million.
  • TELUS and Huawei, a China-based telecommunications company, announced a partnership to test and install new “5G Oriented” wireless technologies in and around the new TELUS Garden facility in downtown Vancouver.
  • Vancouver-based Bradley Pacific Enterprises Ltd. signed an agreement with Wuxi City Embellish Source Environmental Protection Equipment Ltd. to establish a clean and environmental technology investment company, headquartered in Richmond.

Culture was also a key component of this trade mission, highlighted by the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the sister province agreement between B.C. and Guangdong, and the inauguration of two museum exhibitions at the Guangdong Museum of Chinese Nationals Residing Abroad.

Other significant culture-related activities and agreements that took place on the mission include:

  • HQ Vancouver signed an MOU with Poly Culture Group (PCG), which intends to use Vancouver as its headquarters for expanding in the North American market.
  • HQ Vancouver met with the Beijing Performance and Arts Group to encourage the company to explore future opportunities in B.C. and reinforce its confidence in Vancouver.
  • As China prepares to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the provincial government of Hebei, China, is interested in learning about B.C.’s experience hosting the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
  • Vancouver Film School and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts signed an MOU to foster international co-operation in education, research and cultural exchange.
  • Premier Clark took part in the Hong Kong Terry Fox Run, joined by approximately 1,500 participants, including members of the Canadian business community.
  • The B.C. aerospace sector, which employs more than 10,000 skilled workers, is also making significant inroads in the Chinese market, with four deals signed on this trade mission. The deals range from manufacturing and knowledge transfer to pilot training.For example, Pelesys Learning Systems Inc., which provides aviation training and learning solutions, signed an agreement with China Southern Airlines to establish a partnership and offshore Pelesys maintenance training centre in Guangzhou, China.

    “Pelesys is proud to be part of the China trade mission led by Premier Christy Clark,” said George Wang, president of Pelesys Learning Systems Inc. “With help from British Columbia’s trade and investment network, Pelesys has expanded its Chinese footprint and bolstered B.C. workforces over the past few years, and we will continue to work with the B.C. Ministry of International Trade to grow our business engagement in China.”

    Victoria-based Viking Air and Beijing-based Reignwood Aviation Co. signed contracts that make Reignwood Aviation the exclusive representative of Viking’s Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft in Greater China. These agreements follow an agreement reached by Viking and Reignwood at the Paris Airshow in June 2015, in which Reignwood purchased 50 Viking Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft.

    “These and other agreements signed on the trade mission show that the groundwork we are doing in Asia is leading to increased trade and investment and job creation for British Columbians,” said Wat. “As China’s economy continues to evolve, our trade relationship is evolving along with it, and we look forward to helping B.C. companies take advantage of the new opportunities being created across a variety of sectors.”

    Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia’s BC Jobs Plan strategy to diversify international trading partners and secure new investment, and help propel economic activity and job creation throughout the province.