By this time next week, eight people will arrive in Beijing from the north coast of B.C. as part of a delegation representing Prince Rupert and Port Edward.
The trip, which takes place from June 10 – 19, is being funded through a provincial grant the City of Prince Rupert received in 2008.
While in China, the group will visit Beijing, Ningbo, Shanghai, and Prince Rupert’s Sister City Cangzhou.
City Councillor Nelson Kinney, one of three council members going, told The Northern View it will be his first time visiting China.
“It’s going to be very busy. We’ll meet with business people, promote Prince Rupert and be checking in with other ports and lumber companies. I think it’s a wonderful way to sell Prince Rupert in person and I hope we do get some new business out of it,” Kinney said.
Other City of Prince Rupert delegates are councillors Sheila Gordon-Payne, as acting mayor, and Gina Garon. The Prince Rupert Port Edward Economic Development Commission will be represented by Economic Development Officer Derek Baker and Nellie Cheng, who left the position in the summer of 2010, yet continues to work for the City on a contract basis.
Kinney said he’s looking forward to having Cheng accompany the group to be an interpreter.
In an email Cheng acknowledged she’s been coordinating the tour, working behind the scenes. In fact, she’s in the city this weekend meeting with the delegation.
Pam Meers, Chamber board member and operations manager for Quickload CEF Division, is also part of the delegation, and said she’ll be wearing two hats while she’s in China.
“On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce I’m hoping to network with a similar organization in our sister city Cangzhou and I’ll be interested, from our company’s point of view, to visit other companies that handle containers,” Meers said.
Representing the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Public Affairs Manager Maynard Angus said the City’s intent to tour various ports and logistics facilities, were important factors in his decision to join the delegation.
“As you are aware, most of the commodities exported out of the Port of Prince Rupert are destined for the Chinese markets. As a result of the City’s agenda, the Port Authority will be present to provide the needed information. I don’t know that I will be looking more than listening. What do they know and need to know, is what I will be on the lookout for,” Angus said.
It will be an opportunity to promote the Asia Pacific Gateway, he added.
Matt Lafiandra, Project Manager for Ridley Terminals Inc. will also accompany the group, but was unavailable for comment before press time.