BEIJING – Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun witnessed the signing of five agreements during the Ottawa delegation’s first full day in Beijing. The agreements mark a strengthened collaboration between the two cities that will lead to continued success for Ottawa businesses doing business in China.

These agreements include:

– Two agreements for cooperation and service between Invest Ottawa and Zhongguancun Development Group which will allow Invest Ottawa to continue to host a specialized incubation centre.

– A cooperation agreement between Invest Ottawa and Zhongguancun Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (ZVCA),  a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting Private Equity and Venture Capital industry in China, with a focus on accelerating domestic and international deal activities.

– A $5-million investment agreement between Graphite Software Corporation (an Ottawa virtual phone solution vendor) and ZVCA that will enable the company to double its Ottawa workforce.

– A global partner agreement between Beijing NationSky Network Technology, a Chinese enterprise mobility solution vendor and Graphite Software Corporation.

“The Ottawa-Beijing relationship is an important for Ottawa’s many high-tech companies that are working to expand their presence abroad and create good local jobs,” said Mayor Watson. “These agreements are important commitments to ensure we continue to collaborate on areas of shared interest.”

“Our unique partnership with ZDG allows our incubation companies to fast-track their technologies and stay competitive,” said Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO of Invest Ottawa. “This new agreement will broaden the scope of opportunities for Ottawa companies by bringing ZDG’s International Incubation Centre in California into our existing partnership.”

“We’re pleased to be participating in the Mayor’s mission in order to raise the profile of our company and products in China,” said Alec Main, CEO of Graphite Software Corporation, which yesterday also announced the opening of its Beijing office. “Today’s agreement will allow us to further accelerate our company’s leadership in the enterprise mobility field both in China and globally.”

The ZDG Incubation Centre hosted by Invest Ottawa was opened in 2012 to assist innovative companies to gain direct investment and market access to China through its network and services. The centre supports early-stage technology companies in the ICT, Life Sciences and Cleantech sectors and other companies that fit the China market.


Mission update

Before the signing ceremony, Mayor Watson met with Beijing government officials to discuss Ottawa 2017 initiatives.

Mayor Watson and Mayor Wang last met in 2013 when they signed a renewed partnership agreement between the two sister cities.

“The 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 provides us with a unique opportunity to discuss exchange and collaboration opportunities with our partners abroad,” said Mayor Watson. “It is my hope that these discussions will yield positive results for local business, trade, investment, culture, education and tourism.”

Mayor Watson formally invited the Mayor of Beijing to visit Ottawa during Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations. It would be the first time a Mayor of Beijing would conduct an official visit to Ottawa. A key component of the year’s festivities will be several “Ottawa Welcomes the World” cultural events that will see more than 40 countries each celebrate their national days at the Aberdeen Pavilion or Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park.

As it prepares to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the City of Beijing has expressed its interest in exchanging best practices in the area of sports tourism during the winter months.

The two mayors agreed to continue to discuss these common interests and exchange opportunities in the coming months.

In the afternoon, Mayor Watson and delegates travelled to Haidian District of Beijing and met with the Deputy District Mayor Yu Jun and other government officials.

Home to 2.2 million residents and 18 post-secondary institutions, Haidian District is the second largest district in Beijing. The district is a hub for software and technology companies.

Mayor Watson and the delegation visited a research and development facility for Huawei, which also has an office in Kanata. During the visit, Huawei announced that it will become the official smartphone supplier for the Ottawa Senators.

The day concluded with a reception at the official residence of Guy Saint-Jacques, Ambassador of Canada to the People’s Republic of China.‎