Mayor Lisa Helps, Coun. Margaret Lucas and two senior City staffers and a team of business and educational representatives leave Sunday for a 10-day trade and cultural mission to China and Japan. News file photo

City sending delegates on trade mission to China, Japan

$28,000 cost to local taxpayers well worth the investment, mayor says

Members of Victoria council and two senior City staff leave for a 10-day trip to China and Japan on Sunday to discuss trade and tourism.

Mayor Lisa Helps, Coun. Margaret Lucas, acting city manager Jocelyn Jenkins and Kerri Moore, manager of strategic relations and business development, will join representatives of eight Victoria-area companies, the South Island Prosperity Project, Camosun College and Tourism Victoria for meetings in Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai in China, and Morioka, Japan.

The group will be discussing trade agreements in clean technology, manufacturing, education, film and tourism.

Travel expenses for the city representatives, totalling roughly $28,000, will be covered by Victoria taxpayers, while expenses for others on the trip are paid for by their organizations.

Helps is hoping this year’s trade mission will be as lucrative as one that City representatives took last year.

“Cost deliverables from last year were: the ability for Tourism Victoria to close more business [deals] than it would have, the $300,000 worth of [media] exposure, having U-bicycle choose Victoria as its first North American city … and the relationships we built,” she said.

RELATED: Victoria goes green with new bikeshare service

Helps said her presence as a Canadian mayor was well-received and allowed her to make the personal connections needed to establish good relationships with Chinese businesses. Last year, she met Grace Min, North American CEO of U-bicycle, who was looking for a North American city to launch from. The bike-sharing service opened last month in Victoria.

“Mayors hold a very prestigious place in Chinese society, because in China, it’s all the mayors who collect taxes and disperse them to the province and the federal government,” Helps said. “Those who hold the purse strings are seen as powerful.”

Stops on the trip include the Destination Canada Showcase Asia held in Beijing for Canadian, Chinese and South Korean buyers and sellers; B2B meetings in Shanghai; the Canadian Consulate General’s official residence; the Morioka Hachiman shrine; and Morioka and Iwate universities.

Local businesses joining the City of Victoria on the trip are: Limbic Media, ASAsoft Canada Ltd., Arbutus Cove Enterprises, Canadian Migration Institute, Mitu Investments Canada, Randy Lennon Media Inc., Ayase International, CAVU Designwerks and DreamCraft Attractions Ltd.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Child care alternatives for the holidays

While schools and a lot of daycare options close for the holidays, not all businesses do

New centres offer play alternatives

New play centre, aerial and acrobats classes being offered on the West Shore

Wheels in motion for new skatepark on the West Shore

New Line Skateparks selected to complete designs

Metchosin Preschool continues to keep co-ops alive

Fundraisers planned to help with repairs

Bird watchers gear up for annual count

Count takes place in Langford, Colwood, Victoria, North and Central Saanich

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers naughty list for the week of Dec. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Ladysmith woman who jumped from ferry meets rescuers

A local artist who survived five hours in the frigid waters of… Continue reading

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

Most Read