Trip Report on China Mission
Taiwan, Hong Kong and
Shenzhen, China, June 21 – 25, 2015
Prepared by Robert G. Shirra, Managing Director
In June 2015, ITS Canada undertook a trade development mission to Taiwan and China organized with the assistance of Mr. Joseph Lam, Consultant and the Canadian Trade Commissioners in Taipei, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The trip was financially supported through the Government of Canada’s Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program, which provided matching funding to assist the association and three of its member companies to undertake the mission.
For the mission, ITS Canada was represented by Mr. Robert Shirra, Managing Director. Consultant Joe Lam was responsible for making many of the arrangements with the ITS Taiwan, ITS Hong Kong and ITS Shenzhen representatives based on previous business relationships and resulting from a recent trip to Guangzhou where he attended the 2014 ITS China conference. The other members of the mission were representatives of three member companies as follows:
· Mr. Frank Rao, President and CEO, Innovative Traffic Solutions Inc.
· Mr. Simon Foo, President, Transnomis Solutions Inc.
· Mr. Rex Lee, Vice President, Parsons Engineering Canada
The following is an account of the trip and the outcomes achieved:
Day 1 - June 22, 2015 - Taiwan
The morning of June 22nd was spent with representatives of ITS Taiwan and local government officials to visit two very interesting technical sites:
A ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ITS Taiwan and ITS Canada was performed. The MOU was a cooperation agreement between the two national organizations that provided a foundation for future joint trade initiatives. ITS Taiwan’s Chairman, Mr. Kent Wang was the signatory for ITS Taiwan and Robert Shirra, Managing Director signed for ITS Canada. The MOU signing was witnessed by Mr. Allan Edwards, Director, Trade and Investment, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei and Mr. Mufu Wu, Deputy Director General, Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau.
Technical Exchange Session
Meetings with senior national and municipal government officials at deputy commissioner level. ITS Canada and its three participants were afforded an opportunity to discuss their mandates and their views on how to advance the ITS industry in both Canada and Taiwan.
These meetings were followed by a networking session with private sector companies including ITS contractors and suppliers/distributors to better understand how Canadian firms could support their trade efforts in Taiwan and abroad.
Following the meetings, the ITS Canada delegates met with Canadian Trade Officers, Mr. Allan Edwards and Mr. Tom Cumming to discuss future opportunities to develop trade with Taiwan.
ITS Taiwan Dinner Reception
During the evening, ITS Canada was hosted by ITS Taiwan at a lavish banquet at a well known Taipei restaurant. Many toasts were exchanged in celebration of the signing of the MOU and the future success of the alliance between the two national organizations.
Mr. Shirra addressed the assembled to thank them for their hospitality and he encouraged the ITS Taiwan members to consider mounting a delegation to attend the ITS World Congress in 2017.
ITS Canada is most grateful to Dr. Sally Lai of the Takming University of Science and Technology and Mr. Kent Wang of ITS Taiwan for their gracious hospitality, excellent coordination and very interesting technical tours.
Day 2 - June 23, 2015 – Hong Kong
Arriving late morning from Taiwan, the ITS Canada delegation first met with Mr. Endy Chung, Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Consulate for an informative briefing. Mr. Chung gave an excellent presentation that described the transportation business environment in Hong Kong and that illustrated the significant potential for near-term development of the transportation systems in the region. A copy of Mr. Chung’s presentation is available to ITS Canada members upon request to the Secretariat.
We were joined by Ms. Lynn McDonald, Senior Trade Commissioner, who elaborated on the role of Canada’s Trade Commissioner’s capabilities in their region, to encourage future missions and to wish us well in our upcoming visit to Shenzhen.
Hong Kong Transport Department Meeting
Mr. Chung accompanied the Canadian delegation to an information exchange session with the Hong Kong Transport Department. In attendance was Deputy Transportation Commissioner Leung who led the informative presentations by the Department staff. In such a modern city as Hong Kong, it became clear that there are still significant transportation challenges and that ITS will be an integral part of any future solutions.
Presentations were made by the three Canadian member delegates and by Mr. Joe Lam to illustrate the capabilities of Canadian ITS manufacturers, software developers and system integrators.
Dinner with ITS HK and Friends
A dinner was held by ITS Canada to host the members of the ITS Hong Kong organization. The Canadian delegates were joined by several Canadian expats, including Mr. Michel Lavigne of AECOM and by Mr. Endy Chung of DFATD. The ITS Hong Kong members in attendance were most interested to learn how ITS Canada could work more closely with their association.
Mr. Shirra addressed the ITS Hong Kong membership to thank them for their hospitality and he encouraged them to consider forming a delegation to attend the ITS World Congress in 2017.
ITS Canada is very grateful to Ms. McDonald and Mr. Chung of DFATD for their support in organizing a very interesting and fruitful visit to Hong Kong.
After the dinner, the Canadian delegation boarded a bus to Shenzhen in the Peoples Republic of China.
Day 3 - June 24, 2015 – Shenzhen, PRC
ITS Canada attended the official opening of the ITS-Expo Conference and Exhibition at the massive Shenzhen Convention Centre and completed the setup of the ITS Canada booth, which was graciously provided by the Canadian Consulate in Guangzhou, at a discounted rate at the courtesy of ITS Shenzhen.
MOU Signing with ITS Shenzhen
On behalf of ITS Canada, Mr. Shirra attended a ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ITS Shenzhen and ITS Canada. The MOU was a cooperation agreement between the two ITS organizations that provided a foundation for future joint trade initiatives. ITS Shenzhen’s Chairman, Mr. Yang was the signatory for ITS Shenzhen and Robert Shirra, Managing Director signed for ITS Canada. Mr. Shirra’s signature was witnessed by Mr. Duane Robson, Canada’s Trade Commissioner in Guangzhou, China.
Display and Presentation in ITS Canada Booth
The Canadian participants attended the ITS Canada booth throughout the next two days and were able to develop several good business contacts through the presentation of their products and services.
Business Networking and Matching
Organized by Ms. Christine Tian of DFATD-Guangzhou and Ms. Cathy Lee of ITS Shenzhen, the Canadian delegation attended a business-to-business workshop where members of ITS Shenzhen introduced their products and services to the ITS Canada members and learned about the Canadians’ capabilities. Key outcomes for some of the Canadian delegates was the identification of manufacturers for outsourcing of certain manufacturing components.
This session was very well attended by the Chinese firms and many were keen to find Canadian distributors or agents for their products and services. Members exchanged contact information with the Chinese firms and several potential business opportunities were identified.
ITS Shenzhen Gala Dinner
ITS Canada was hosted at the evening gala dinner and awards ceremony and were acknowledged by the Chairman of ITS-Shenzhen for our attendance at the conference. Many cordial toasts were exchanged and ITS Canada’s delegates were welcomed warmly by the Chinese attendees.
ITS Canada would like to acknowledge the work of Ms. Cathy Lee of ITS Shenzhen and Mr. Joe Lam, Consultant for their extraordinary efforts to make this event possible. In addition, we are grateful for the support of the Canadian Consulate in Guangzhou, in particular Duane Robson and Christine Tian for their coordination assistance.
Day 4 - June 25, 2015 – Shenzhen, PRC
Mr. Joe Lam, on behalf of ITS Canada, presented a keynote speech by ITS Canada at the Urban ITS Forum, which formed a part of the ITS-Expo conference.
That evening, the ITS Canada delegates attended the ITS Salon, a dinner reception where networking activities with ITS companies from around the world, and more business matching discussions took place.
Day 5 - June 26, 2015 – ITS Expo concludes, Macau
ITS Canada delegates attended technical and/or factory tours, and concluded business discussions in the Expo or company offices. In particular, one of our delegates visited a manufacturer in NW Shenzhen where detiled discussion of partnership took place.
On the afternoon of June 26th, the remaining ITS Canada delegates took a ferry to Macau for a dinner meeting with Professor Tam of IDQ (Institute of Development and Quality) and Mr. Lai, Traffic Manager of DSAT (Macau Directorate of Traffic services). DSAT and IDQ wanted to explore the potential of cooperation with ITS Canada and would like to have further discussion with us during the Bordeaux World Congress.
Day 6 - June 27, 2015 – Return to Canada
Delegates returned to Hong Kong and then boarded flights to return to Canada.