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 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
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.