The word about the development of the Prince Rupert port, is beginning to attract the business class anxious for a first hand look at what may be their future for shipping goods world wide.
Prince Rupert Economic Development hosted a six-member team of business experts here to look at investment opportunities in the Northwest and explore the Fairview container port and look at its possible place in the world of international trade.
The Daily News had a review of their visit to the city,
PORT OPPORTUNITIES HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD TALKING
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Six international business experts tasked with promoting the Pacific Gateway overseas got a first-hand look at the potential of the Northwest corridor on Monday.
Prince Rupert Economic Development hosted the six-member team as they heard about investment and trade opportunities in Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert.
"Our international trade representatives, every year, sometimes twice a year, we bring them to B.C. to indoctrinate them more firmly in the message that B.C. is ready to do business internationally and there is a lot more to B.C. than what you see in the Lower Mainland," said Troy Machan, of the B.C. Ministry of Economic Development Marketing, Trade and Investment Team.
He said the new Fairview Container Terminal development plays a large role in attracting international business because it provides the infrastructure to move goods in and out of the country.
"We make a concerted effort to brig the team members to a different region of B.C. each time and Prince Rupert is certainly a region that gets talked about a lot and it's a big part of our mission, especially on the international logistics side," said Machan, director of marketing for the NAFTA Region and European Union.
Members of the trade team visiting Prince Rupert included: Bjarne Jensen from Odense, Denmark; Dr. Rainer Giersch from Hamburg, Germany; John Morgan from Rottweil, Germany; Rolf Fyne from London, England; Gordon Smythe from Palo Alto, United States; and John McDonald from Shanghai, China.
The team met with economic development organizations from Kitimat, Terrace and Prince Rupert before touring the container port, Prince Rupert Grain, Ridley Terminals and Port Edward. In the afternoon, representatives from the port authority, the grain and coal terminal all spoke to the delegates about their operations.
Bjarne Jensen of Odense, Denmark, said the additional development of container capacity in Prince Rupert brings opportunity for other shippers to look at investing in the region.
"For a year and a half now we have all been part of promoting the Gateway and not having seen it ourselves we have been sending companies over here without knowing exactly what they come back with," said Jensen.
He said one of the companies from Denmark, the international shipping company Maersk, was disappointed when they visited eight years ago.
They came back then to talk to the Port of Prince Rupert about investment in a container port development. However, at that stage, the new terminal was still just a far off vision.
"I can see now we sent them over a little early but in the last year and a half you've built a solid base for investment. Now we just have to figure out the time to send them back," he said.
Speaking on behalf the Northwest region in B.C. and Alberta, Graham Kedgley of the Northwest Corridor Development Corporation encouraged the representatives to talk to businesses in their countries about the potential for manufacturing.
"It's very important as the new boy on the block to get the profile of this corridor raised worldwide," he said.