On the Ground with JTC

Gloria Yu - Junior Team Canada Ambassador

JTC Ambassador's Coming Together in Peru Just before Take-Off

JTC Ambassador's Coming Together in Peru Just before Take-Off

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.

Long-Time Friend of Global Vision, Jorge Mazuelos Was Awarded during the Reception Global Vision's Hearts and Mind Award.

Long-Time Friend of Global Vision, Jorge Mazuelos Was Awarded during the Reception Global Vision's Hearts and Mind Award.

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 sunset enjoyed from the roof of our hotel!

A sunset enjoyed from the roof of our hotel!

Year 25

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.

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Thoughts on My Development on the Global Vision Mission

One of the JTC grads from my school that went on mission to Panama and Columbia last year told me something before I went on mission.

"Be yourself, and don't hold anything back."

Simple words...I know, but she is exactly right! When you are put in a position where you are unsure or not confident, you have to represent yourself in the best way possible, even if you are uncomfortable about what is going on in that moment. It's about setting a personal image for yourself so that you will be remembered in a positive way that will make you proud of what you have accomplished.

Coming right from grade twelve I have a lot to learn, and I have a huge amount of potential to grow into a different person. Thus far I have to learnt how to network, and that is essential to selling yourself and the company that you represent. They are relying on you, and you have gained their trust, because they believe in your ability to sell them,and yourself.

I have learned to see things in a different perspective. You have to look beyond what it something may appear to be. The places I have seen in these past two weeks have developed immensely in the past 10 years, and that doesn't happen overnight. For example, Singapore is by far the cleanest place that I have had the chance to see. The people of Singapore want to showcase the simplicity and beauty of the city, because they have worked hard to make Singapore what it is today.

Most importantly I learned how to believe in myself, and not try to worry about what other people think. Sweaty palms and shaking hands used to be normal when I got the chance to public speak. Now I am able to push through, and think positively so that I can put out the image that I would want to see in other people. Even though all of those points are proof of what I did accomplish, I still have plenty of room to keep improving in order to be the next that I can be.

Now six months ago when I attended the Western Global Leadership Conference in Winnipeg, I would have never expected that I would be in Singapore writing a blog post as a Junior Team Canada Ambassador, but here I am! At seventeen years old I am representing businesses and companies back in Saskatchewan on the global stage, and that would not have been possible if I never pushed myself. I went from being a shy, quiet teenage girl, to a young professional, and that is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Laura Weinbender, Junior Team Canada Ambassador

Three Shades of Guangzhou - 2006, 2010, 2013

Guangzhou, China - For many in Canada the name evokes confusion, a rather odd response in a country which is home to 1.3 million people from the Pearl River Delta. It is even more surprising so many know so little about this place when you consider Guangzhou is officially home to 13 million people, and the cities which ring it (within 2 hours) are home to another 71 million. Or as many people as live in Florida, New York, and California combined. It is a city which I first visited with Global Vision in 2006, and subsequently visited again in 2010 and 2013. To say Guangzhou is an indicator gauge for the growth story in China does not do justice to just how much has changed in 7 years.

I still remember the first time I stepped out of the Guangzhou East Railway station - home of the Hong Kong-Guangzhou through train, a station slated for replacement in 2013. The air was thick, it was raining and of course the sky was brick brown from all of the low end low value manufacturing taking place in the city and its immediate vicinity. The traffic was horrendous, and many of the roads were dirt - made muddy from all of the rain - and with the exception of CITIC tower (CITIC is a large Chinese bank based in Guangzhou) there was little in the way of tall buildings. This made the 80 story tower look particularly out of place in this city which looked to be part construction zone, part industrial wasteland.

As for mass public transit in 2006 - forget it - the metro was "under construction" - with four small lines it was hardly adequate to serve 13 million people. In meeting with city officials they proudly discussed their grand plans, as did the businesses - including Jade and Company, and HJM Asia law - both of which we met that rainy Guangzhou day. I have to say the team at the time was left slightly skeptical an entire modern city could be built in a decade - let alone one for 13 million people.

In 2010 we undertook to visit Guangzhou with a team for a second time. Once again the connections built on the first mission with Jade and HJM were relied upon to help teach a new generation of young Canadians about business in Guangzhou. On the day we were leaving Beijing to fly into Guangzhou - I made sure to prepare myself, and my team for the Guangzhou I remembered - a disorganized place (or so I thought) where we would have to be prepared to rough it.

Anyone reading this who was living in or visited Guangzhou in 2010 would understand I was in for an earth shattering shock - the Guangzhou I visited in 2006 was more or less gone. Thousands of architecturally interesting tall buildings dotted the sky as we cruised into the city - again on a famous rainy Guangzhou day - on a brand new state of the art expressway with traffic signals designed to alert drivers of traffic jams and allow them to divert around them. Not only that the city had an efficient, and functioning metro system with over 150 KM of track, and 6 long operating lines with another in the trial phase.

Some features from 2006 did however remain, there was a large amount of garbage, debris and some general untidiness especially when it came to the area around the waterfront. By 2013 - when we visited last week - I expected the city to have changed greatly - and it had. Not only were there many new buildings and features on the skyline - but the highway system was even better than I had remembered. And a couple more lines, and another 100 KM of track had opened on the metro system. As for that dirty waterfront, the debris and general dirtiness? It had given way to tree lined boulevards, and granite walkways lined both sides of the pearl river.

Notably the air quality had improved on both of these subsequent visits. An indication of the move up the manufacturing value chain which had taken place in the region. No more is Guangzhou a city of the made in China plastic toy or undergarments - it is a modern high end manufacturing centre building complex products from pressure washers to cars.

Upon explaining these contrasts to the students we brought with us from Canada - none of whom had ever been to Guangzhou before - myself and Terry received looks of confusion and disbelief. It was quite apparent they did not believe this gorgeous city could have been anything different less than a decade ago. In the Canada such development would be impossible - Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver have all embarked on mass transit projects to build single lines - all took decades to build or are still not complete 10 years later.

In short its hard to believe something until you see it for yourself, and in the case of many Canadians the extent of their exposure to the Chinese economic progress is the large quantity of goods originating from China. They have not had the opportunity to witness the leaps and bounds by which the economy has grown on the ground, and the extent to which life has dramatically improved for millions of people. While many are now talking of a "China slowdown" the reality is it does not hold water as a story, the situation on the ground is such that it is clear the economy is still booming. What is also clear is China is so large any economic statistic regarding it should be taken with a grain of salt, and probably disregarded - as the country is so large many "leading economic indicators" are simply immeasurable.

Adam Dewar is a JTC 2006 Graduate (China, and Hong Kong SAR) who holds a degree in Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He has worked as a Project Manager for Global Vision since 2009 working as part of the "A" team on numerous projects including: MY SUMMIT 2010 G8 - G20, 2011 Inter American Development Bank Summit, 2011 APEC Summit, and trade missions to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Komaspec Asia - Factory Visit & Briefing

On our first day in Ghangzhou, China, Junior Team Canada had the opportunity to see first-hand how a Canadian entrepreneur had found success in Asia. Six years ago, Maxime Bérubé and Francis Gervais were college graduates who had little capital to start a business. Today, Komaspec is a 12,500 square-foot factory that manufactures over 800 different products annually for clients from industries around the world.

Turnkey manufacturing describes a complete manufacturing function that manages all manufacturing and supply chain services, including material acquisition, assembly, test, and aftermarket service and warranty support. Komaspec chose a turnkey model right from the start, because they recognized that the niche market of innovative gadgets would drive their business model, instead of the mass-produced simple-to-make items.

As cost of labor increase in Asia the demand for the type of goods naturally shifts as well. 10 years ago, almost all the world’s demand on Asian manufacturing was in mass-produced, low quality goods. Today, there is a shift towards higher quality and customized products. As a result, this shift creates a demand that traditional Chinese companies cannot fulfill, and an entry point for SMEs like Komaspec to succeed.

“The more complex the design, the more of a competitive advantage we have.” says Bérubé. During our tour of the factory, we witnessed the manufacturing process of a container for stem cells, a revolutionary gaming device, and an innovative snow plow developed by a Quebec company.

Bérubé stressed the importance of finding the “right” opportunity and focusing one’s efforts. Serving a niche market in contract manufacturing, Komaspec has achieved its mission of being the fastest and most competitive operation in its field and is a leading model for others to follow.

by Richard Sookraj and James Sun, Junior Team Canada Ambassadors

To learn more about Komaspec, visit http://www.komaspec.com/


Hi, my name is Evan Paradis and I am from Melville, Saskatchewan. I finished high school this year and am going to the University of Regina to study engineering. One of my goals on this trade mission is to help find a company to export recycled plastic products to be re-used rather then ending up in landfills. As well as gather technological ideas related to the recycling of plastic products.

This Mission has been a great experience to not only learn more about the world we live in, but also more about ourselves. Our interests, our goals, our fears, our potential; All of these are shown day in and day out. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially when you have to do a presentation in front of a group of important people.

Afterwards though you can feel yourself being more confident after doing something which scares you. Global Vision as a program that has provided me more confidence in myself and I will never take that for granted. Unfortunately the mission is already over halfway done, and with only one more stop after Singapore, hopefully the rest of the Mission will be as eventful as the first half.

Evan Paradis, Junior Team Canada Ambassador

Press Release: JTC Lands in Singapore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: High Commissioner Heather Grant Welcomes Junior Team Canada to Singapore

Singapore — (August 12th, 2013), Global Vision

Canada’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Ms. Heather Grant, welcomed 31 Junior Team Canada (JTC) Ambassadors to Singapore, Canada’s third largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on Monday morning.

Following a preliminary overview of Singapore and the ASEAN market by Commissioner Grant, the Ambassadors participated in several briefings by trade commissioners in the sectors of clean-technology, defense & aerospace, agriculture, and life sciences. The speaker panel preceding the briefings included: Chia Wan Liew, Chief Representative of the Export Development Bank of Canada; Caroline Berube, Managing Partner at HJM Asia Law & Co. LLC; and Huijin Kong, Counselor and Program Leader at LinHart Group Pte. Ltd.

“Starting a business in China requires comittment to things like a commercial lease for a minimum duration of 12 months.” explains Pedro Burgarelli, a Junior Team Canada Ambassador from Montreal, Quebec. “In Singapore however, you can set up a business very quickly, in a few days. With it’s prominence in the ASEAN market and it’s free trade economy, Singapore would be a great market for Canadian entrepreneurs to set up in, especially in research-intensive sectors.”

The Canada-Singapore relationship is strengthened by cooperation in multilateral forums such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC and with dialogue through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Canada’s support for Singapore’s entry as an observer entity in the Artic Council, and conversely Singapore’s support for Canada’s involvement in the developing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, both demonstrate the close ties between the two nations.

Global Vision and Junior Team Canada would like to thank Commissioner Grant and the Trade Commissioners with the Canadian High Commission in Singapore for their continuous support of this mission.

JTC-NYAA Amazing Race Singapore

Neither the tropical rain of Sunday morning nor hot sun that afternoon intruded the adventures of Junior Team Canada on their Amazing Race Singapore. Designed by the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) council, JTC was split into 6 teams faced with 60 questioned with answers hidden in all corners of Singapore.

As a member of Team 6, we had the opportunity to visit many sites of the city such as The Flyer, Greek Theatre, the Marina, Artistic District, National Museum of Singapore, Chjmes, and the Battle Box. All teams reunited in the breath taking scene of Singapore Botanical Gardens, waiting patiently for the results while bonding with NYAA youth. Beyond all the sites visited, we learned a lot about Singapore. From singing their National anthem in Malayan to understanding how fast the city emerged, us Canadians felt connected to Singapore on another level . I spoke with Mr. Ken Ong after the race, as he explained the structure of the NYAA program. Quickly, we were comparing its many similarities to the Canadian familiar Duke of Edinburg Award program. It was amazing to realize that in other places in the world, that there are like-minded youth who submerse themselves in programs like the NYAA to not only better themselves but the community around them as well.

Team 4 finished with the most points, but the smiles on the faces of every JTC member when they got to the end point proved we were all winners. The time and energy put into both planning and executing the Amazing Race Singapore by the NYAA Council was greatly appreciated by Global Vision, and are all looking forward to getting to know Singapore’s Youth throughout this week.

Kayla St.Croix, Junior Team Canada Ambassador

JTC Mission Launch!

31 Youth Selected to Represent Canada on International Trade Mission to Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Malaysia

Ottawa, Ontario — (July 10th, 2013), Global Vision

31 young Canadians will be traveling to Asia on an international trade mission this summer from July 31st to August 19th, visiting Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Malaysia, as part of Global Vision’s Junior Team Canada program.

Junior Team Canada is a delegation of youth ambassadors that represent Canada both at home and abroad, through national conferences, international trade missions, and special assignments like the G8, G20, and APEC summits. 20-30 youth are selected through a nationwide selection process each year, giving these young leaders the opportunity to experience international trade and diplomacy first hand.

As Junior Team Canada Ambassadors they will meet with leaders from business, government, and the community to promote Canada’s economic interests, learn about business and culture in Asia, and further develop trade relationships in the region. The 2013 mission will be focused on the clean-tech & renewable energy, information technology, agriculture food & beverages, mining & resource extraction, education, real estate, and finance sectors.

“The mission is going to open up a world of new and exciting opportunities for them,” says Amy Giroux, Director of Global Vision and Junior Team Canada. “These dynamic young leaders are getting the experience and skills they need to help strengthen Canada’s presence in the global marketplace.”

About Global Vision

Global Vision - Junior Team Canada (JTC) is a Canadian non-for-profit organization founded in 1991 by Terrance Clifford, MP London-Middlesex (1984-1993) and Member of the Order of Canada. Global Vision’s objective is to give youth hands-on experiences in international trade and community leadership to produce top global leaders that build the future of Canada.

Global Vision’s flagship program, Junior Team Canada, has led missions to over 30 countries on 6 continents, the most recent being to Colombia and Panama in July 2012. Since its founding in 1990, it has equipped hundreds of Canadian youth leaders with the skills, experience and knowledge they need to become extraordinary leaders. The organization has been responsible for delegations on Team Canada Trade Missions, the APEC Summit, Inter American Development Bank, G8 and G20 Summits, as well as a variety of other top level international events.

For more information on Global Vision and its programs, visit www.globalvision.ca
Information Media Only: Amy Giroux: 1-888-829-2838 | amy@globalvision.ca