The Chinese province of Guangdong today announced the opening of a trade office in the first of its kind in Canada - and Premier Christy Clark was on hand to mark the strengthening of this important economic relationship.
The historic trade office opening was one of several announcements made during Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan’s three-day visit to B.C. Other announcements include an action plan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the B.C.-Guangdong sister-province relationship and a memorandum of understanding between the B.C. government and the Guangdong Sub-Council of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
“This new trade office in Vancouver is another milestone in the rich history and is increasing ties between B.C. and Guangdong,” said Clark. “As sister provinces, B.C. and Guangdong already enjoy cultural, economic and trade ties. The new office, the action plan, and the MOU signify Guangdong’s confidence in B.C. as an investment and trading partner.”
At the event at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Zhu unveiled a plaque for the inauguration of the Guangdong Economic and Trade Representative Office, which was witnessed by Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat and Chen Qiuyan, president of the CCPIT Guangdong Sub-Council. The office will promote bilateral trade and investment relations between the two jurisdictions, further strengthening trade and cultural ties that span decades.
“The fact that Guangdong chose Vancouver as the home of its first trade office in Canada has demonstrated the great importance Guangdong attaches to our 20-year long sister province relations,” said Zhu. “With the establishment of trade offices in each other's province, Guangdong and B.C. will be more closely related than ever. Approaching the 20th anniversary of our sister relations, Guangdong wishes to join hands with B.C. in adding stronger impetus to our mutually beneficial cooperation in multiple areas including business and trade.”
Guangdong chose to locate its first Canadian trade office in Vancouver because:
- Its location as Canada’s Gateway to Asia;
- British Columbia and Guangdong share strong two-way trade and investment ties and similar economic interests;
- The importance of the Guangdong-B.C. sister-province relationship; and
- Vancouver’s large and vibrant Chinese-Canadian community.
The action plan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the B.C.-Guangdong sister province relationship in 2014/15 includes a number of activities, including government missions and visits, trade promotion, sister-province promotion and twinning initiatives.
The MOU between the B.C. government and the CCPIT, signed by Wat and Chen, focuses on two-way investment and trade promotion. In the updated MOU, both parties agree to promote investment and trade initiatives, participate in information exchanges, introduce potential investors to each other’s markets, and review industry sector priorities for two-way investment.
Clark and Zhu also launched the opening of the first office in Richmond of Guangzhou-based GF Securities Co., Ltd. It is also the first Chinese securities brokerage to establish a branch in North America. GF Securities is a significant company in China, having been ranked 4th in total assets and profits in China.
- Three organizations - the Canada Chaoshan Business Association, the BC-Guangdong Business Council and the Vancouver-Guangzhou Friendship Society - supported the establishment of the Guangdong Economic and Trade Representative Office.
- The office will be located at 1400 Robson St., Vancouver.
- Guangdong is China’s most populous province with more than 100 million people and is the largest province by GDP - $1 trillion in 2013.
- Guangdong is the ancestral home of most British Columbians of Chinese descent.
- Approximately 20,000 Canadians live in Guangdong.
- There are five pairs of sister cities between B.C. and Guangdong: Vancouver-Guangzhou, Surrey-Zhuhai, Burnaby-Zhongshan, North Vancouver-Huizhou and New Westminster-Yunfu.
- In 1995, B.C.-Guangdong formed a sister province relationship.
- B.C. and Guangdong have two sister ports: Vancouver International Airport-Guangzhou International Airport and Vancouver Port-Guangzhou Port.
- B.C. opened a Trade and Investment office in Guangzhou in February 2009 that is currently staffed by six Trade and Investment Representatives.
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Business-to-business deals also made during Governor’s visit
The Government of British Columbia and Guangdong Province have enjoyed a successful 20-year sister-province relationship, which has promoted cultural exchanges between the two jurisdictions and generated many economic development opportunities. As an example of this, several business-to-business deals were also made during the governor’s visit. These accomplishments are not limited to the examples below, but span a wide range of fields, such as twinning, education, agri-foods, life sciences, information communication technology, energy and mining, and transportation.
LNG off-take agreement between Guangzhou Gas and Woodfibre LNG
Woodfibre LNG Export Pte. Ltd. and Guangzhou Gas Group Co. Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) offtake of 1 million tonnes of LNG per year for 25 years starting in 2017.
The LNG will be sourced from the Woodfibre LNG Project, which is being developed in the District of Squamish by Woodfibre LNG Limited, a Canadian-based affiliate of Woodfibre LNG Export. The LNG offtake contemplated in the MOU will provide long-term stable supply of natural gas to meet the rapidly-growing demand in Guangzhou City, People’s Republic of China.
The Woodfibre LNG Project is expected to start production in the first quarter of 2017 with an annual capacity of 2.1 million tonnes. The project will help create sustainable economic growth and development in the region, and is expected to create approximately 500 jobs during construction and at least 100 full-time jobs during operation.
Woodfibre LNG Export Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore-registered company, and is part of the Pacific Oil & Gas group of companies, which also includes Woodfibre LNG Limited. Woodfibre LNG Export has secured an export license from the National Energy Board in Canada to export 2.1 million tonnes of LNG from the Woodfibre LNG Project for a period of 25 years.
Pelesys establishing China headquarters in Guangzhou City, Guangdong
In 2014, Pelesys registered a joint venture company in the Guangzhou Tianhe Software Park as its headquarters and it will oversee all their Chinese offices and operations. Pelesys China plans to partner with Guangzhou based aviation corporations (China Southern Airlines and Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited) to develop the mainland China and Southeast Asia markets.
Headquartered in Richmond, Pelesys is a leading training solutions provider to airlines, original equipment manufacturers, maintenance repair overhaul and aviation training organizations. As one of the top aviation e-learning training providers in the world, they provide training systems and solutions designed for pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers. Pelesys is also a European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) and Transport Canada authorized training organization.
PEV Power Systems set up R&D centre in Zhongshan City of Guangdong
In order to seize the opportunity in the rapidly-growing electric vehicles (EV) market in China, PEV has established relationships and strategic partnerships with several Chinese battery suppliers in Guangdong. Collaborating with their Chinese partners, PEV plans to set up a research and development centre in the Zhongshan Hi-Tech Zone in Guangdong to commercialize research and technology initiatives.
The establishment of the PEV research and development centre in Zhongshan will help PEV access the Chinese market, partner with the key EV industry players and grow from a research organization to a lithium power system manufacturer. With PEV’s China expansion, they plan to invest several million dollars to increase their research and development team in B.C. in the coming years and this will lead to the creation of jobs in BC.
PEV Power Systems Inc. is a Canadian company located in Richmond. The company develops lithium-ion battery power systems for electric vehicle applications, including electric cars, buses and vessels.
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