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
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
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
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
Sector Summary: Information & Communication Technologies in South Asia
Many factors contribute towards South Asia's international reputation as both a leading manufacturing complex and a major commercial centre within the world. While many factors such as the economic policy of free enterprise and free trade, the rule of law, a well educated and industrious workforce, a sophisticated commercial infrastructure, as well as development of ports and airport which are among the world’s finest are important, an emerging factor that attracts the attention of the world to this specific region is the fast-paced growth of their I.C.T Sector.
As a student interested in learning more about investments geared towards the Technology, Media, and Telecommunication industries, I have been a keen observer of the way the improvements in technology and infrastructure have affected the regions' society and culture. As a race that heavily values the concept of efficiency and effectiveness, it is only inevitable that the way people communicate has shifted tremendously in the last decade. Unlike in the North American society, the Asian world is heavily reliant on smartphone as well as portable technologies, up to a point that this technology is subtly being integrated to everyday tasks such as ordering a cup of coffee through the use of E-Wallets and booking a taxi through SMS messages.
While there is large variance across Asia's ICT infrastructure landscape, there are centralized themes and factors driving innovation and development, largely deriving from the region's increasing economic integration, which in turn has several important effect for ICT technology purchase. Intra-regional trade and investments as well as increasing foreign demand has made South Asia one of the world's fastest-growing economic regions. The fact that carriers and enterprises largely avoided the global Financial Crisis has proved that it is more convenient for them to make decisions on next-generation technology, such as the introduction of Long-Term Evolution technology and other 4G mobile upgrades.
This economic robustness, and the continuous cycle of regional integration that has supported it, has also facilitated cross-ownership in telecommunication and particularly mobile network operations. An example of this would be Singapore's SingTel as well as Malaysia's Axiata who hold stakes in operators in Thailand, Indonesia, and other ASEAN nations.
As well, the Asian nations are currently experiencing difficulties while dealing with the flow of information. The growing concern has led the Asian market to become early adopters of technology that has just been introduced to the North American and European markets. By transferring most of their collection to the Cloud servers and technology, government organizations and multinational corporations that are headquartered in South Asia has been able to centralize their database and reduce the need for manual I.T tasks, allowing their human capital to automate their systems and allocate more of their efforts in developing strategies.
In conclusion, I can say that I was tremendously enlightened by the rapid growth of the ICT industry of South Asia. Through such growth, I was able to determine three key opportunities that could potentially rise from this on-going trend: Wireless Build, Next Generation Networking, and Mobile Media. These three sector are not as well promoted to the Western world, however, shows promising future for investors as they are all experiencing fast-paced growth. By providing services dealing with Wireless Broadband technologies, I.T Solutions (Hardware and Software), and mobile content services, there is no doubt that Canadian investors and entrepreneurs could see success in the years to come.
by Andrew Shon, Junior Team Canada Ambassador
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
The following recount describes my experience missing the Junior Team Canada bus – not even in a figurative manner. Towards the end of the presentations at the Canadian Consulate General in Guangzhou, I met Trade Commissioner Assistant Ms. Corrnie Wang, one of twenty local employees at the office, who generously helped me connect with a local print shop for getting revised copies of JTC’s resource guide. The digital file for the booklet was being revised in Canada and there was no way to obtain it without email. The obstacle was that the internet connectivity in China is heavily restricted by what is known colloquially as the Great Firewall of China. To bypass it to check Gmail, one would have to log into the page www.accounts.google.com.hk before loading the inbox. After forwarding the file to Ms. Wang, I was surprised that my colleagues had left and no one at the China Hotel meeting room knew their whereabouts. Then if finally sunk in: I had missed the bus. The only logical step was returning to my room at the Leeden Hotel to rejoin the group later at dinner. This required getting the bellboy to search up the address on his smartphone and explain to the taxi driver the directions – a strange concept at the time. Upon returning, I realized it was impossible to contact my teammates, so my only bet was to refer to JTC’s agenda and contact the organization we were visiting. Luckily, I was connected to a helpful secretary, Eling Cheung from our inviter Jade and Company, who was aware of our visit to the Komaspec manufacturing factory in Guangzhou. She emailed me the address in both Chinese and English, and I proceeded outside to a taxi and learned it would take at least an hour and 50 kilometers of travel. This meant I would arrive with less than half an hour to spare before the JTC ambassadors left the factory. Finally, after negotiating a HKD $160 (CAD $27) flat rate, we began our ride chasing the bus.
The taxi driver and I bonded instantly, discussing culture, economics, careers, family, and JTC’s visitation in Guangzhou. It was smooth sailing until we arrived in the general region of the factory and the driver had no idea where the factory was. I quickly realized that drivers were not familiar with many of the city’s regions, and that cabs were not equipped with maps or GPS navigation. We consulted more than seven locals on the streets, ranging from street cleaners to tourists, most of which gave us conflicting directions. Borrowing a cellphone, I called Jade and Company again and the secretary tried to explain the location to the driver without much success. After getting more roadside assistance from locals, we both couldn’t be more relieved to find our destination.
Unfortunately, there was no bus to found, but I was excited to explore the busy factory with a chance to stretch my legs after sitting in the cab for two hours. Francis Gervais, engineer and Komspec’s Vice-President of Sales, warmly greeted me in the office and I was informed the JTC bus left ten minutes ago, an early departure. Fortunately, Mr. Gervais and I briefly discussed my mandate, Kaleid Snow Gear, who is seeking a manufacturer in Asia.
At the end of the day, I learned that taxi rates are affordable in Guangzhou, and GPSs are better with directions and addresses. Oh, and don’t miss the JTC bus – both literally and figuratively.
Bill Wang, Junior Team Canada Ambassador
Junior Team Canada challenges young Canadians to take the road less travelled and be leaders of tomorrow. Members of our team have decided to push themselves to the limit and perform on the world stage. We are all passionate about the work that we are doing and eagerly seeking new challenges. From the slice of Hong Kong that I experienced this is also true for people in this city.
The energy that I experienced in Hong Kong is second to none. This is a city that is constantly on the move and pushing itself to be better than it was yesterday. The passion that businesses and individuals bring to their work is inspiring. The people care about what they do, each other and their city. The emphasis placed on relationships and interconnectivity truly makes this a world class environment.
With such strong parallels between Hong Kong and Canada’s leaders it is no surprise that so many Canadians have chosen to work and live here. I am very confidant that the relationships between us will only continue to grow and become stronger as we both seek challenges and progress together.
Richard Sookraj, Junior Team Canada Ambasssador
Hong Kong has been an inspiring experience to say the least.
As I stepped off the plane, the first thing I realized was the heat, humidity, and dense population. But as I learned more about the city through our briefings with leaders from organizations such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Hong Kong Trade and Development Council, I began to notice something else about this place.
While the speakers were all very eager to teach us about the economic policies and structure of Hong Kong, it was clear that they were all very proud of their city. Whether or not they were born in Hong Kong, each person was proud to represent the city and excited to do their part to promote it. It wasn’t for personal gain that they taught us, but rather for the future of Hong Kong, and the strong connection between Hong Kong and Canada.
It was evident that they truly loved their city, and were passionate about further empowering it through trade as it adapted to the changing economic and political landscape. If all of Hong Kong's leaders are anything like the ones that we have met in the past few days, Hong Kong will undoubtedly continue to be a global leader for generations to come. It’s sad to think that we must leave this place in only a few days, but I’m sure that many of us will return.
by Jacob Read, Junior Team Canada Ambassador // Melville, Saskatchewan
Sector Briefing - Canadian Consulate of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR — (August 2nd, 2013), Global Vision
Junior Team Canada attended a sector briefing at the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong on Friday, hosted by Mr. Ian Burchett, Consul General of Canada to Hong Kong; Ms. Kendal Hembroff, Senior Trade Commissioner; Mr. Jean-Christian Brillant, Consul for Foreign Policy and Diplomacy; and several Trade Commissioners from the Clean-tech, Life-sciences, Agriculture, and financial sectors.
Mr. Burchett stressed the importance of building meaningful relationships when doing business in Hong Kong, where a personal relationship through several points of interaction should precede a commercial relationship. He emphasized the need for Junior Team Canada to ensure follow up and further development of the local relationships we initiate for our mission partners in Hong Kong.
Following a trade and policy briefing by Ms. Hembroff and Mr. Brillant, the Ambassadors split up into groups for individual sector briefings with Trade Commissioners on the topics of Clean-tech, Life-sciences, Agriculture, and investment attraction. Through their discussions the Ambassadors initiated key connections related to their sector responsibilities, and began the process of booking meetings with local companies and organizations with the assistance of the Canadian Trade Commission.
"I learned that you need to take a very different approach when doing business here", says Rafael Pozuelo-Perron, one of Quebec City's four Junior Team Canada Ambassadors on this mission. "It's not just a two step process of 'come-and-go' like in Canada, you really need to put in a lot of effort in developing a sincere relationship." Working with his partners Canmec Group, a Saguenay engineering firm; and Bilodeau, a Canadian fur trade and taxidermy company, Rafael plans help them develop a better understanding of how business works in Hong Kong and assist them in realize their long-term business objectives in Asia.
Trade Briefing: Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC)
Hong Kong SAR — (August 2nd, 2013), Global Vision
Junior Team Canada attended a trade briefing with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) on Friday, hosted by Iris Wong, Head of International Relations, at their head office located in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong. Ms. Wong briefed JTC on HKTDC's core services, Hong Kong's economic composition, and it's competitive advantages for conducting business both locally and around the world.
Among the topics discussed were Hong Kong’s vibrant economy as a trade and finance hub in Asia, it's competitive advantages in geography, and it's political and economic standing with Mainland China. For example, the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement with Mainland China enables businesses based in Hong Kong to export into mainland China without being subject to tariffs and duties. This includes products that have been partially processed in Hong Kong, where businesses may locate value-added services to qualify for the duty-free status.
Hong Kong can also act a risk manager for entering other Asian regions, as the legal system of Hong Kong is based on Common Law and can offer a measure of protection for businesses entering contracts in Hong Kong to do business in Mainland China.
"The idea of basing the business agreement in Hong Kong to access other Asian markets was definitely new to me." says Laura Weinbender, Junior Team Canada Ambassador for Saskatchewan. "Although my partners are mostly in the Agricultural sector and Hong Kong may not be a direct market for them, it would be important to consider drafting their contracts in Hong Kong because of the legal system here. The system offers better protection and more power for Canadian companies in negotiations."
About Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC)
HKTDC was established in 1966 as an international marketing arm for Hong Kong–based traders, manufactures and service providers. The council offers a variety of platforms and business-matching services, connecting small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong with business partners from all over the world through a global network of over 40 offices worldwide. Visit http://www.hktdc.com/ for more information.
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.