From Feb 10-21, Mayor Dianne Watts embarked on a business journey through one of the top 3 economies of the future. The notion was to leverage the competitive advantage of having one of the highest concentrated South Asian populations outside of India. There was some success as deals were reached and ties established.
Watts was accompanied by 32 delegates representing 24 companies in the clean energy, education, wood and manufacturing, film and entertainment, life sciences, communications technology and business and finance sectors.
Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchens gained multiple offers to take their restaurants nationwide. bioLytical Laboratories will be providing eight hospitals with its rapid HIV testing units. SFU established student and faculty exchange partnerships, and even R&D agreements with groundbreaking technology by Dr. Erik Kjeang of SFU Mechatronic Systems Engineering. Several other deals took place or are in the final stages.
Watts established strategies with the City of Jalandhar on environment, industry relationships, academic partnership and R&D.
Cities visited during the trip included Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar.
Surrey is by no means an economic power, which makes this mission a brave pursuit. But I hope this trip, along with Gordon Campbell’s mission of 2007, is only the beginning of a long set of relationships between India and British Columbia as a whole. It’s necessary.