Mission by Minister Jean-François Lisée to China - Québec steps up its relations with Shanghai

BEIJING, October 20, 2013 - During the final stopover on his mission to China, Jean-François Lisée, the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, agreed with Li Mingjun, the Executive Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, to increase the pace and scope of their partnership.

Shanghai and Montréal’s core strengths complement each other well, paving the way for an ambitious joint work plan. “Shanghai and Montréal are very similar given their strong personalities and the fact that their priorities mesh perfectly,” said the Minister. “The huge retail sales market and cultural industries in Shanghai are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are creating more and more demand for niche products aimed at targeted market segments, products that Montréal manufactures in abundance.”

“Shanghai is moreover implementing a pilot project to liberalize its financial sector, while Montréal has cutting edge expertise in this area and is looking to position itself as a North American leader in Yuan-based transactions,” added Minister Jean-François Lisée.

“Shanghai is also adopting very high green construction targets, which will provide fantastic opportunities to Québec construction and environmental technology companies,” concluded the Minister.

Based on these complementarities, the Governments of Québec and the City of Shanghai have agreed to an extensive work plan that will lead to sustained cooperation in numerous areas:

  1. Cooperation between convention centres to encourage cross-participation in international events
  2. Exchanges of public servants in government ministries of strategic interest
  3. Cooperation on urban management, notably underground spaces
  4. Exchanges with regard to environmental protection, green buildings and urban transportation
  5. Collaboration in the establishment of a free-trade zone
  6. Development of an academic exchange program for professors and students
  7. Development assistance for the establishment of a direct air link between Montréal and Shanghai

The delegation, which included over 70 representatives from the entrepreneurial, institutional and cultural sectors, made stops in Jinan, Beijing and Shanghai. It led to the announcement and signing of twenty agreements between Chinese and Québec businesses and organizations (see appended list), in addition to a series of high-level political meetings, a first since the major political transition in China from November 2012 to March 2013. These transitions take place every ten years and affect 75% of the country’s leaders.

Cultural activities were front and centre during the last part of the mission to China. A delegation of a dozen Québec companies headed by Alain Paré, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Exchange for the Performing Arts (CINARS), participated in the Shanghai International Performing Arts Fair (SPAF) in order to explore new markets and meet Chinese broadcasters and programmers who might be interested in purchasing their productions.

Montréal fashion was featured during Shanghai Fashion Week. The sold-out event, which attracted a large contingent of Chinese fashion media outlets, showcased numerous well-known Québec brands: Judith & Charles, Yoga Jeans, Parasuco, m0851, Aldo, La Vie en Rose, Ralph Leroy, Hip and Bone as well as creations by LaSalle international graduates. It was the first time that Québec had taken part in this major gathering of designers, decision makers and buyers from around the world.

APPENDIX – LIST OF ANNOUNCEMENTS AND AGREEMENTS

RETAIL

  • Montréal company M0851 inaugurated its first boutique in continental China in the heart of a trendy commercial district in Beijing.
  • Montréal-based Maison Birks, Canada’s premier luxury jewellery brand, announced the opening of its first boutique in China in early 2014 at Beijing’s Xanadu Plaza.
  • Judith & Charles opened its first franchises in continental China in Guangzhou and Wuhan, and is considering the possibility of adding other stores in 2014.

INSTITUTIONAL

  • Agreement between Alliance numérique and the China Cultural Industry Association to promote collaboration between the Québec and Chinese video game industries.
  • Agreement between McGill University and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications to strengthen existing ties and to develop a research and training collaborative framework.
  • Agreement between Université de Montréal and Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) to facilitate the implementation of a three-pronged collaborative partnership. The two universities intend to (1) develop joint research projects, (2) facilitate professor exchanges and (3) facilitate student exchanges.

GREEN CONSTRUCTION

  • Letter of Intent between American Structures and Beijing Enterprises (Dalian) Investment Group Co. for the construction of a 45,000-sq.ft. wood-frame vacation home.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Coarchitecture and Beijing Enterprises (Dalian) Investment Group Co. for the design of an environmentally friendly wood-frame vacation complex in Dalian.
  • Strategic Partnership Agreement between Modulex International and Shanghai TreemanWood Manufacture to commercialize pre-engineered wood frame panelized houses manufactured in Québec.
  • Contract between IFCS and Shenteng Information Technology, a Shanghai-based high tech company, to distribute IFCS’s property management applications in the Shanghai region.
  • A $10 million contract for Soprema from Taizhou Pengxin Real Estate Development Company for the sale of green roof systems, most components of which come from Drummondville.
  • A partnership between Bois Franc DV, HMS Canada, CLT Canada and Jiuyou Capital to invest nearly $5 million for the construction of a cross laminated timber (CLT) hardwood panel plant in Ripon in 2014, followed by a hardwood panel processing centre and the opening of a second generation CLT manufacturing plant in North America in late 2014. Some thirty jobs will be created in Québec.

MULTI-SECTORAL AFFAIRS

  • Agreement between Novalux and CAEG for a new martial arts project entitled “IMMORTAL CHI, the quest for balance,” a show fully funded by the Chinese Ministry of Culture.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between ATMS (Automated Tracking & Management System) with Shanghai Ruidong Hospital whereby ATMS agrees to install its tracking software in the hospital’s sterilization service, which will serve as a showcase for other hospitals in the City of Shanghai and, possibly, all of Southern China.
  • Cooperation agreement between ATMS and Shenzhen Ftrd Industry Co., Ltd., to install ATMS solutions in the sterilization services of hospitals in the City of Shenzhen
  • Agreement between SiliCycle and Jia Wei to create a joint venture to establish and register a Chinese legal entity (SiliCycle-China).
  • Alchemic Dream signed two letters of intent with Chinese partners that will lead to a multimedia technical services sales contract.
  • Collaboration agreement between the City of Shawinigan’s Multimedia Station (represented by Alchemic Dream) and the Shanghai Multimedia Industry Association to facilitate technology sharing and training and the involvement of companies in the mobile, video and social game sector in the Chinese and Québec markets.
  • Announcement of a strategic alliance between Jesta I.S. and CP Lotus to incorporate new modules in their integrated management systems.
  • Opening of a Logik Orient China office in Shenzhen to stimulate exports of premium Québec agri-food products on the Chinese market.
  • Contract worth over $1 million for Norduyn with China Southern Airlines to provide 350 cribs to equip the airline’s entire fleet. The cribs will be manufactured at Norduyn’s plant in Montréal.
  • Two-party agreement between Finance Montréal and the Shanghai Financial Association to facilitate financial internship, training and activity exchanges between Montréal and Shanghai.

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