Local entrepreneurs beginning to wonder about doing business in China can get an introductory hands-on opportunity.
The Prince George Chamber of Commerce is organizing a baseline business trip, a "lite" trade mission, so local owners and managers of firms can gather initial information, impressions and perhaps even direct business contacts in China.
"Most businesses don't have the resources or the knowledge about how to set up a trade mission of their own to China. We are working as a group, with a company that has done this for more than a decade for 800 to 1,000 Chambers of Commerce," said local Chamber CEO Christie Ray. "The cost for participating in this trip is so low, even if you just got the touristy benefits it would be worth it, but this is specifically to begin the process of making business connections in your field, whatever that is."
The Chamber is targeting 80 to 100 local participants on this autumn 2014 trip. The tour will visit several cities, including Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai with opportunities to visit historic sites including the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, and The Bund.
China is already one of Canada's biggest trading partners, specifically one of B.C.'s best customers, and the bulk of that trade is rooted in northern B.C., be it lumber or coal or proposals for liquified natural gas and oil. The education and tourism exchange possibilities are also massive, according to recent delegations to visit to and from this area.
Chamber president Derek Dougherty said Prince George is in a position to benefit.
“China is becoming a major player in B.C.’s economy," he said. "With our international airport and physical proximity, trade opportunities with China are sitting on our doorstep. We feel the time is right to introduce our members to China as the first step in international business development.”
For those interested in booking a seat on this trip, the fee is about $2,500 which includes flights in and out of Vancouver, accommodation in China, meals, tours, virtually all expenses except personal spending. A full description will be presented on March 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sandman Signature Suites.
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