Friday, September 25, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Daily News catches up with some visitors from China, a local resident will get to carry the Olympic torch and the Coast Tsimshian seek out a public forum for discussion, some of the items of interest for the Thursday news cycle.

CHINESE INVESTORS TAKE A TOUR OF PRINCE RUPERT-- A delegation of Chinese executives drop into Prince Rupert for a look around, all part of a four day tour of Northern BC hosted by a groupd of agencies in Prince George and Prince Rupert. As we outlined on the blog on Wednesday, the tour focused mainly on transportation and logistics during the course of the four day visit (Daily News Archive Story )

A local Zeller's employee has been selected as one of eighteen of the companies employees to take part in the 2010 Olympic torch relay in January. Joanne Nguyen will be grabbing her share of the Olympic torch memories on january 29 in the Williams Lake to Prince George leg of the relay (Daily News Archive story )

The finishing touches were being put on the items up for bid at the Prince Rupert Public Library Auction, taking place on Friday, September 25 at the Lester Centre of the Arts. There are about 25 prizes up for auction with the doors opening at 7 pm and the first auction call set for 7:30. (Daily news Archive story )

The Sports section previews the upcomig NHL season.

Northern View, web extra
Coast Tsimshian seeking a meeting with Prince Rupert residents-- Seeking to clear up any misunderstandings, the Coast TsimBoldshian put out the call for a public forum based on some of the local issues of the day for both First Nations communities and other residents of the region (see story here)

Front page, headline story
Chinese Investors take a tour of Prince Rupert
By Monica Lamb-Yorski

The Prince Rupert Daily News
Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eighteen senior executives representing Chinese Investment interests were in Prince Rupert Monday.

Chock full of questions about specific investment possibilities in Northern B.C., senior executives from China were in Prince Rupert September 21 to visit the container port and hear from the Prince Rupert Port Authority, the City of Prince Rupert and the District of Port Edward.

Their plane arrived at noon and departed five hours later, and despite the pounding rain, the group liked what they saw.

"It was good," said Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Officer Nellie Cheng.

"These kinds of things really give people an understanding of what is in the north. They mostly visit urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver but this time they came here."

After touring Prince Rupert, many of the visitors told her "you have such a beautiful place."
Jointly hosted by Initiatives Prince George Development Corporation, Prince George Airport Authority, Prince Rupert Port Authority and Prince George Logistics Park, the four-day visit was billed as the Northern Pacific Gateway Trade and Investment Forum.

The visit began in Prince George on September 20 and involved tours of the new 11,360 ft. runway and fueling pad at the Prince George Airport, the Prince George Logistics Park and the CN Worldwide Intermodal and Distribution facility, extending to the Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert.

In a press release issued by Initiatives Prince George, Shaun Stevenson, PRPA's Vice President
Marketing and Business Development, noted that the northwest transportation corridor between Asia and North America, anchored by the Prince Rupert Gateway, links Northern B.C. with new opportunities in the Pacific Rim.

"This forum is one of those opportunities to reinforce the competitive advantages for Chinese businesses to invest in - and move their products through - northern B.C.," Stevenson said.

When it was his turn to welcome the representatives to Prince Rupert, Mayor Jack Mussallem told the delegates about a scallop farming project that is in the works for the North

There are three partners in the project. Dalian Blossom Enterprises Limited of China, Turning Point - involving First Nations from Bella Coola to the Queen Charlotte Islands - and the Canadian Fishing Company at its fish processing plant in Prince Rupert.

"We know where you're from and appreciate your interest," Mussallem added.

Cheng gave her Power Point presentation in Mandarin, talking about Prince Rupert and Port Edward as a link to the Pacific Gateway.

Bian Hong Deng, from the China Baobei International Investment Group, asked Cheng if there are any plans to export pulp and lumber and if there is a good place to set up a pulp mill.

When he was told that a pulp mill exists on Watson Island, Deng said he would be very interested in having a tour.

Before City Council meeting on Monday evening, Mussallem confirmed that a tour had been arranged and Deng took several photographs.

Another question from the delegates involved First Nations involvement in business and what the requirements are.

"If it has to do with retail and manufacturing, then the answer is no, but if it is outdoor and involves fishing or logging, there may be a requirement if it's on their land, "Mussallem said, adding, "First Nations are interested in doing business here."

Cheng said the visit gave her an opportunity to ask questions about some of the Chinese business successes.

She talked with Zhu Jiandong, the VP for COSCO Container Lines Americas, Inc.

"We talked a lot about Prince Rupert and ways we can promote Prince Rupert further," she said.
Another delegate from Suzhou Logistics Center Co. Ltd. talked about his company's specialization in services for transportation. The company has a new technology park and inside that they have developed a logistics park.

"His company has attracted various businesses such as reloaders," Cheng said. " I had read about the success and this time it was a good opportunity to talk to him and learn how they did it."

Cheng noted that one of the investors runs a tour company, China Youth Travel, and organizes tours all over the world. A few years ago he went to Barkerville and has been promoting it ever since, linking the Chinese visitors to the history of the Chinese and the Gold Rush in B.C.

"He was taking a group of people to visit Barkerville on Tuesday," Cheng said.

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