University of Manitoba
University of Manitoba
Only a few months ago, Canadians went to the polls for another time resulting in a new government. Sitting in today’s Canadian House of Commons are a record number of women, diverse caucuses exemplifying the diversity of our nation, and Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet. Election time was an exciting period to see the final outcome of the hard work of thousands of candidates and volunteers from coast to coast. Now, the excitement continues as Canadians watch to see the decisions the new government will make and legislation that will be brought forth.
The anticipation and nervousness of a close election period has followed Junior Team Canada on our trade mission to Lima, Peru. Upon leaving the airport and stepping into the Peruvian landscape, our team also stepped into a historical election period for the The Republic of Peru. A drive through the streets of Peru illustrates the seriousness of elections for this country. Perhaps the importance of civic engagement in Peru is a testament to the not so distant history of brutal regimes and political unrest. In addition to the democratic importance of the voting process to Peruvians they are also faced with a hefty fine if they choose not to partake in voting. The requirements for voting and only a few years of a relatively stable political environment mean the Peruvian attitude towards voting is incongruent to that of our home country of Canada. Regularly in Canada, just over half of eligible voters show up to the polls and it is a common opinion that the decision to engage in the political process is neutral because their vote renders no impact on the outcome. The circumstances for voting are quite different in Peru where citizens know all to well what happens if a political institution is run without the influence of its citizens.
In Canada, we can be rest assured that the political front-runners during our election period are not radical. Whereas in Peru, an election can potentially elect a leader of a far-left or far-right leaning tendency which would drastically alter the current trade systems implemented in Peru. During our meeting with Mr. Greg Dryden, the Chief Financial Officer of the HudBay Peru Operation, he discussed the effect of this election on business. Dryden felt assured in the fact that current polls are favouring leaders that are business friendly. HudBay Peru only achieved production in April 2015 after funding $1.7 billion into this project. The company invested a great deal of money into this project in order for a sustained revenue over a period of multiple decades.
The results of the April 10, 2016 Peruvian presidential election are a critical component to the prosperity of the HudBay operations. New government policies, for example, could have unfavourable repercussions for the multi-billion-dollar project if the system for doing business no longer becomes profitable or the government is against foreign investors.
The election is a few months away and through dialogue with our
Junior Team Canada is opening doors in two continents tomorrow:
President Terry Clifford is thrilled to receive the invitation of Prime Minister Trudeau to the state dinner in honour of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in OttawaRead More
The 5 Step Game-Changer describes the SWOT and the need to re-do it at regular intervals. December is a great month to reflect on your experiences snd the ups and downs one experiences as part of the natural flow of life.
In order to help prepare your self for the upcoming year I urge you to consider the following questions when reflecting on 2015.Read More
After completing a national outreach and recruitment campaign throughout fall and winter 2014/15, Global Vision selected (out of hundreds of applicants) 40 of the nation’s finest young leaders to serve as Junior Team Canada (JTC) Ambassadors, representing their communities and country on a trade mission to the People’s Republic of China. Each JTC Ambassadors submitted online applications in the form of video or written essay submissions. Ambassadors were selected based on their ability to communicate, lead and work in a team, but most importantly because of their commitment to their country and community.
From July 28th – August 13th, Junior Team Canada departed Canada for a three-city, seventeen-day mission with the objective of strengthening bilateral trade, investment and friendships during the China-Canada Year of People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges. Following Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s official visit to China in November 2014, JTC supported our partners-enterprises and the federal government’s Global Markets Action Plan by engaging Chinese industry, government, civil society and youth leaders to market Canada’s strengths, identify business opportunities, gather market intelligence and contacts.
Armed with the 5 Step Game Changer (the Global Vision leadership, personal development, cross-cultural training, and international business bible) the Ambassadors had the opportunity to hone their skills in real-time. After raising $5,500 from corporate and community partners back home, JTC rose to the challenge of promoting Canadian industry and culture while overseas while developing as young professionals- Canada’s next best class of international movers and shakers.
The Ambassadors- coming from every province and region of the nation- not only developed their individual professional skills, but also (and perhaps even more importantly) worked on the ground to come together as a team to strategically use their individual attributes to meet the many challenges set before them- going from “me” to “We”. As JTC Ambassador Nicole Zhao (Toronto, ON) put it, “the greatest part about seeing our team connection form is how natural leaders arose, and how individual strengths and weaknesses were highlighted. By combining our strengths, the team became much stronger than any single individual effort. We each built on each other’s strengths and helped each other improve our weaknesses. At the end of the mission, I not only took back the memories but the lessons learned through fulfilling our mandates, through peers, and through the new culture we experienced”. Indeed, as Global Vision founder & president Terry Clifford, C.M. is often fond of saying, “all of us are better than any one of us”.
In order to identify new opportunities, Junior Team Canada travelled to the bustling commercial cities of Chongqing, Chengdu and Guangzhou in Western China. As Canadian Commercial Consul David Perdue noted, “these cities offer niche opportunities for Canadian businesses, perhaps more so than the more saturated coastal markets like Shanghai or Beijing”.
In addition to completing individual mandates provided by our Canadian partners, JTC focused on investigating opportunities for Canadian businesses in economic sectors with particular growth potential in the Chinese marketplace such as: agriculture, engineering, education, foreign direct investment, information-technology, manufacturing, natural resources, and professional services (law, finance, real estate and immigration).
Throughout the whirlwind mission, JTC uncovered opportunities and established a truly Golden Rolodex of key stakeholders in China that is already opening new doors for our Canadian partner-enterprises, showcasing the tangible value-added results Junior Team Canada consistently delivers.
Junior Team Canada, no CEOs or diplomats, but a team of young professionals dedicated to their communities and country accomplished all of this. Now back in Canada, JTC is delivering on mandates set by our partners. Our Ambassadors are committed to sharing their newfound knowledge in communities across the nation and around the globe while they continue to get the experience that matters.
Upon arrival to Chongqing, we had the opportunity to visit some of Sichuan’s best academic institutions: Southwest University and Chongqing University. During our visit to Southwest University we were lead in a tour across the campus on a trolley where we noticed many physical differences compared to institutions back home in Canada - the first being that many facilities like basketball and tennis courts that were located outdoors. One of the highlights of the first school visit was getting a chance to sit in on a real lecture from an international relations professor about the past, present and future of Chongqing. It really helped us understand the reason behind the rapid economic and population growth of the city.
Another aspect of the visit that really opened our eyes was getting a chance to hear from high school students about their perspectives on education in China, specifically the focus on traditional learning (lecture based) over experiential and extra-curricular learning that most Canadian institutions embrace. Although schools here offer extra-curricular programs like Model UN and spelling bees, the amount of extracurriculars offered are fewer and the attitude towards students participating in them is more reward-based (from good academic grades) rather than as a part of a holistic post-secondary experience as found in Canadian universities. After presenting our education partners and fielding questions from the students assembled at both universities, we discovered there was a strong preference towards enrolling in technical programs such as engineering, architecture and other STEM fields.
Something that took us by surprise was the rigour of Chinese secondary school curriculums and the general attitude towards the value of university here in China. In China, the final year exam that all students are required to write as part of the post-secondary entrance evaluation, known as 'gao kao’, forms the curriculum base for all classes throughout secondary school. Students spend years studying for this exam and the lead up to writing it can be a time of significant stress for Chinese students. However in Canada, there is no national post-secondary evaluation exam and though class exams can also pose stressful study times in students’ lives, the assessment is based on a term’s worth of information rather than the students’ learning in several subjects over the course of their secondary school career. Upon successfully completion of the ‘gao kao’ and acceptance to university, Chinese students find post-secondary school much easier academically and higher graduation rates support their anecdotal evidence.
Having one on one conversations and directly interacting with secondary and post-secondary students opened up our team's eyes to the challenges and opportunities for Chinese students looking to study in Canada and Canadian students looking to study in China. For Chinese students wishing to study in Canada, one of the attractions is financial aid for tuition and lodging offered through federal and provincial government programs, community organizations and institutions themselves. Complimenting their Chinese education with a Western based degree is also of value (either at the bachelors, masters or technical level) as employers in China or abroad typically view experience in both systems highly valuable. Furthermore, many Chinese students looking to study abroad see work experience in another country following graduation as highly valuable (whether or not they plan to immigrate there permanently). Canada boasts an advantage in this area through the federal ‘Experience Canada’ program which offers two-year temporary work permits to eligible international graduates with the time spent in Canada counting towards a permanent residency application. Not many Chinese students or education officials are aware of this program however, so as a country we need to be doing more to promote this program which will attract international students from across China. Finally, as extracurriculars are not emphasized as much in Chinese schools, the opportunities available in Canadian institutions is highly attractive to Chinese students.
For Canadian students wishing to study in China, one of the challenges they may face is the culture shock to the food, customs and the language barrier present in Chongqing. Though an international education is similarly looked upon favourable by most Canadian employers, Canadian students should do due diligence as some degrees, specifically those governed by professional associations in Canada (medical, accounting, etc) are not internationally recognized or accredited. With the focus on technical and STEM degrees in China, Canadian students looking to pursue an education in the social sciences or humanities may also find their options in China limited.
All in all, although there are many differences and similarities that we found while touring the campuses of these Chinese universities, both countries offer unique opportunities not found at home and all students agree that going abroad for your education is a great way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to experience different learning styles and cultures.
>> by Daichi Ishikawa, Fred Ninh, Corinna Ha, and Nadeem Kilani
Junior Team Canada’s 2015 delegation attended a briefing by held by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade on Monday (August 3rd) to learn about the various opportunities and challenges for Canadian companies looking to invest in Chongqing and the broader South Western region.
History and Current Economic Position
The manufacturing and technology prowess of Chongqing is rooted in its wartime history. The city’s inland location is a strategic advantage, protected by the surrounding mountains and yet accessible from the coast by the river. This unique geographic inheritance lead to the city being designated as the Chinese wartime capital and center of all military command during the Second World War. Such was the importance of the city to the war effort, U.S. President Roosevelt would refer to it as “the morale fortress” of the allied forces.
Having continued the development of its heavy industries well beyond the armistice in 1940, Chongqing today has become an important economic center for emerging industries in the STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing) sectors. The persistent development of these sectors is further supported through a robust education infrastructure, with particular emphasis on institutions with strong technical training programs and focused industrial expertise.
In particular, there is a significant presence of emerging companies and industry clusters that are focusing on the design, development, and manufacturing of: computer monitors and screens; robotics; telecommunications; advanced materials; clean technology; and medical sciences and engineering.
Opportunities and Challenges
Canadian expertise in clean technologies and agricultural engineering, as well as our strengths in the chemical and advanced materials industries, stand to benefit from this rapid development. However, the market may be shifting even as Canadian companies and organizations actively pursue opportunities in this space.
Corinna Ha, a Junior Team Canada Ambassador representing Ontario and an incoming finance student at McGill University, found that a mismatch between the supply and demand of foreign direct investment sought by Canadian municipalities posed both fresh challenges and opportunities.
“My partner, the municipality of Chatham-Kent, is seeking Chinese auto parts manufacturers that supply the North American market to developing plants in their municipality. Unfortunately due to strong domestic demand in China and high production costs, auto parts suppliers apparently have no interest in entering our markets. They would rather expand to emerging markets in Africa for example, to pursue growing demand for automobiles in an environment with much lower production costs.”
Instead, Ha recommends Chatham-Kent and other municipalities to pursue broader opportunities that leverage Canada’s reputation for quality and reliability. “I think Chatham-Kent should not only focus on attracting capital investments from the automotive industry, but also look at high-tech companies based in China that wish to enter the North American market. The STEM industries in China, and Chongqing in particular, are rapidly developing sectors that will continue to see significant investments in the foreseeable future. Positioning ourselves to take advantage of this wave would be of great benefit to Canadian communities.”
About China Council for the Promotion of International Trade
Established in May 1952, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) comprises VIPS, enterprises and organizations representing the economic and trade sectors in China. It is the most important and the largest institution for the promotion of foreign trade in China.
The aims of the CCPIT are: to operate and promote foreign trade; to use foreign investment to introduce advanced foreign technologies; to conduct activities of Sino-foreign economic and technological cooperation in various forms; to promote the development of economic and trade relations between China and other countries and regions around the world; and to promote the mutual understanding and friendship between China and peoples and economic and trade circles of all nations around the world.
With the approval of the Chinese government, the CCPIT started to adopt a separate name – China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC)- in 1988, which is used simultaneously with the CCPIT. The CCPIT admits new members from among enterprises in all parts of China and promotes trade through its functions of information consultation, exhibition, and legal assistance.
Some of you have tried this in school shows or in community theatre, others have imagined or dreamed of what it would be like to be an actor in real life. Now is everyone’s chance – JTC China will hit the world stage July 30th in Chongqing. You certainly have been readying for such a role. Countless telephone interviews, speeches, emails, Face to Face meetings etc. have sharpened your skills and steadied your resolve. Now the curtain call approaches for a 2 week run of the much anticipated JTC Trade Mission, ‘Le Tour de Chin'.Read More
As we get ready for JTC China 2015 where we will be on the ground in Chongqing, Chengdu, and Guangzhou, you can connect with people over the internet to contact sources for meetings to meet your sponsor mandates. Remember that you are assuming the role as a young professional in business. Stay in this role and use the following tips from Vicky Oliver to make a great first impression when meeting someone through the internetRead More
"What you need is your own story,” - RUSH (Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart) In the album Geddy Lee sings, “What you need is your own glory.” To make this happen I suggest you proceed from pop to business culture and master the following must do's on how CEOs down to line managers expect you to perform in the workplace today. JTC Ambassadors take these to heart and put them into practice.Read More
Another school year is winding down both in high school, college and university. But what really happened this year? Was it more of the same but with different books and teachers/professors?
Was your curiosity aroused into action? Were there lots of opportunities to get in touch with the outside world? Lots has been and is happening there and of course daily events flow by like a thousand canoes cascading down a river in the Rocky Mountains.Read More
It is Monday morning and that means that we are working straight from morning to night, meeting with industry leaders and creating our deliverables due at the end of our mission. The day contained two major meetings for us: one with Canadian mining firm, Hudbay Minerals; another with a Peruvian organization that promotes tourism and exports from Peru, PROMPERU. As we jumped in a taxi to get to our first meeting at HudBay, the lessons of the 5-Step Game Changer were in the back of our minds, “Always meet and greet with meaning; Find a common ground connector.”Read More
People have friends in their home communities but what happens when they are in need away from home? Far away like JTC finds itself this week in Peru? How would you build a program that involves people representing a wide reach of community life in Lima, the capital city? Where to start?Read More
Since it was Sunday, the team was free of meetings, but that didn't mean that we didn't have work to do. We congregated at 10AM for personal meetings with our leader-from-afar, Terry Clifford. We discussed my mandate for Priestly Demolition and he gave me some ideas of key questions to ask when I meet with business leaders in construction. He also helped boost my morale by reminding me why I am here on the ground and we also discussed my interest in Global Vision.
At the end of my chat with Terry, I had formed a plan to find some construction sites in Lima to get an understanding of the players in the game. I was also curious about the set up of the sites, sign postings and notice of projects in place. Since the rest of the team was working on their mandates or further exploring the city, I decided to wander through Lima and discovered some construction sites nearby. At one site, a trailer was set up with information about the new condominium, which was to be built. A lady sat at the desk and with my limited Spanish, her lack of English and many hand signals, we tentatively set up a meeting for later in the week when the project supervisor would be back. Hopefully, that is what I understood.
After that success, I met up with a few other ambassadors to explore Kennedy Park, an area where artists lined the sidewalk, music filled the air and the smell of picarones filled the streets. Picarones are a type of Peruvian style donuts that are covered in honey. We tried our hand at negotiating with various street vendors, had a picarones and watched people dancing in the streets. Our outing was cut short because we needed to rush back to meet our Peruvian friends for dinner where we had chifa (A fusion of Peruvian and Chinese food).
Overall - the day was filled with discovery as we learned more about Peruvian culture; I discovered a little more about the construction industry, and I tried my hand at a little Spanish.
I’ve always been a fan of The Amazing Race, but I never thought I’d actually be in one. Today, I had the chance to take part in Junior Team Canada’s Amazing Race: Lima Edition. My team, led by Rubi and Estefania (USIL students), explored the city of Lima while looking for various checkpoints. From taking pictures at Kennedy Park to running through a cluster of pigeons in “San Francisco”, I had the opportunity to discover four incredible districts of Lima: Miraflores, Barranco, San Isidro, and Centro de Lima.
In Miraflores, we watched surfers masterfully tame the enormous waves of the Pacific Ocean. In Barranco, we explored some of Lima’s oldest buildings. In San Isidro, we watched a dog show in the colonial olive garden. And in Centro De Lima, we watched “El Cambio de Guardia”—the changing of the guards in front of the Presidential Palace.
While I started off a little groggy due to limited sleep, I ended the race invigorated and in awe of Lima’s diverse architecture and culture. While we ended up being the last team to arrive at the finish line, we were the only team to hit all of our checkpoints. Today was fascinating, but I can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful city with my fellow JTC ambassadors!
Sitting in classes at my school in Vancouver, BC, little did I know that soon I would be on the journey of a lifetime, a trade mission to Peru! Before I knew it, I was rushing through the airport at five in the morning on my way to meet the rest of team. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be one of the only people on the team from the west coast but also the only person who has never participated in any Global Vision program in the past. It was hard to know what I was going to expect and as I walked towards my gate I was a little overwhelmed and uncertain about what I was about to experience.
However, after spending the past two days with Adam and my fellow JTC ambassadors, I cannot say enough how futile my worries and concern were. I was not only greeted with an amazing group of like-minded peers to help and support me throughout this mission, but we also had the support of Terry Clifford’s book ‘the 5-Step Game Changer” to guide me through the whole process.
One of the first, and most helpful, things our team did after arriving in Lima was splitting up into teams of three and doing a team SWOT analysis to identify our collective bank of assets. This was not only helpful in getting to know each other on a personal level but also allowed us to identify and enhance our group dynamics as a whole. It was important that I realize that I can use my strengths to balance weaknesses of others and vice versa.
After our meeting, we went to the Canadian embassy to put our assets to work, networking with leaders in business, education and community at a reception kindly hosted by the Canadian Ambassador to Peru, Patricia Fortier. I was truly humbled by the plethora of representatives present from various sectors, but what truly exemplified the Junior Team Canada experience was how every professional treated us with respect and not only shared their expertise but went out of their way to help us in every possible way. From getting in contact with the Ministry of Education of Peru to setting up meetings with the International Recruitment Agent from the University of Alberta, I am ecstatic that I went outside of my comfort zone and applied to Junior Team Canada. The experiences and opportunities granted to me thus far during our team’s first two days in Peru are unattainable elsewhere and I look forward to everything Junior Team Canada has to offer over the next eight days.
A generation of enterprising minds untrammelled by preconceptions nor blunted by cynicism or swayed by political rhetoric inspired hundreds of Canadian youth to have experienced Global Vision’s Junior Team Canada (JTC) program. JTC grads' successful efforts recognized both at home and abroad to promote Canadian culture and industry in 40 countries have established a global footprint for Global Vision.Read More
The 2015 Junior Team Canada delegation will conduct an international trade mission to China and South East Asia to strengthen Canada's economic ties to the region in the transportation & logistics, energy & resources, information and communication technologies, financial, and agricultural sectors.Read More
In the lead up to Canada’s role as host of the Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games in 2015, the Junior Team Canada delegation will focus on developing Canada's role as a leader within the Americas, and facilitating further cultural and economic ties with the region. The 2015 mission will build on successful JTC missions to Peru in 2008 & 2009 that highlighted the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement.Read More