Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson presented an Ottawa Senators jersey to Beijing Deputy Mayor Sui Zhenjiang, whose portfolio focuses on technology and innovation.‎ They each provided opening remarks at a business and innovation seminar organized by Invest Ottawa, which was attended by more than 100 Chinese investors.

BEIJING – On their second day in Beijing, Mayor Jim Watson and mission participants took part in an investment and innovation seminar organized by Invest Ottawa and hosted by Zhongguancun (Z-Park) Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (ZVCA). The event attracted more than 100 Chinese investors and businesspeople, who participated in “match-making” sessions with Ottawa businesses.

“Today was a great opportunity to promote Ottawa as a leading innovation centre in Canada,” said Mayor Watson, who provided opening remarks at the session. “The message to potential investors is clear: Ottawa is open for business.”

ZVCA is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the Private Equity and Venture Capital industry in China. It was co-founded by 10 nationally renowned private equity investment companies based in Z-Park, the biggest technology hub in Beijing. The purpose of the event was to promote Ottawa as an innovation and technology hub to potential Chinese investors, specifically those interested in the wireless, communication and medical device fields.

During the seminar, Mayor Watson also took part in several interviews with local Chinese media.

In the last two years, Invest Ottawa has organized 10 outgoing missions to China and received about 30 incoming delegations. To date, about 120 local high-tech companies have benefited from bilateral trade, investment, and partnership activities.

Mission update

On the second full day of the mission, Mayor Watson and Ottawa Tourism also met with representatives from Beijing Tourism, the World Cities Tourism Federation, China’s Ministry of Culture and Beijing Caissa International Travel Service, one of the largest tour operators in Beijing. The purpose of the discussions were to identify partnership opportunities related to the Canada 150 celebrations in 2017 and Beijing’s hosting of the Winter Olympics in 2022.

With the recent addition of a direct Beijing-Montreal flight, Ottawa has become an easier option for visiting businesses and tourists. Between 2005 and 2014, the number of annual visitors to Canada from China increased significantly from about 117,000 to more than 450,000.