Thoughts on Asia 2013

During the past twelve days here in Asia, I have experienced and absorbed significant and meaningful experiences. Learning about the gateway to Asia for businesses and companies (Hong Kong), economic and business growth in China, and the diversity of the population in Singapore gave me a genuine understanding of the relationships between these three cities and Canada. Even though Asia is 6,500 miles away from Canada, Canada and Asia have a very strong relationship.

Hong Kong is also known as "the gateway to mainland China." As an international business hub with a rapidly growing economy, it is easy to see why Hong Kong has an unemployment rate of only 3.7%. For businesses seeking to expand their market into mainland China, Hong Kong is a land of opportunity. The unique government structure of Hong Kong affords many privileges for those doing business within it. The low taxation rates for imports and exports, compared to mainland China, foster the interest of foreign businesses. This is one of the many reasons why Hong Kong is a prominent place for a company.

In just twenty years, Guangzhou has grown faster than many other cities in China. This highlights how important this city is becoming, both for business and economic development alike.

Singapore is definitely a fascinating country, with the country's population made up of Chinese, Indian and Bangladeshi people. Singapore offers a diverse and multicultural environment to the businesses coming to the country, which reminds me of Vancouver.

The cities visited on this international trade mission have varied significantly, from culture to language to business relationships. However, these cities are united by the fact that they are strongly connected to Canada via groups such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, university alumni, Invest HK, Canadian Trade Commissioners, and especially by the Canadian business community working hard away from home.

Kevin Park, Junior Team Canada Ambassador