Building Business Bridges to China

Nov 25, 2015
Ottawa’s business delegates meet with Chinese entrepreneurs at ZDG / Photo via Metro

It was a whirlwind of meetings and connections for Ottawa’s Mayor, Jim Watson, Invest Ottawa and the 15 local businesses during a recent trade mission to China. Out of the gate, five major agreements were signed with Beijing’s Mayor, Wang Anshun; two of which will have positive impacts on the Ottawa Business Ecosystem.

A new agreement was penned with the Zhongguancun Development Group (ZDG) and its incubator in California. (ZDG already has an incubator located within the Invest Ottawa offices). A relationship was also established with Zhongguancun Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (ZVCA) which promotes the Chinese private equity and venture capital industry.

Ottawa firm Graphite Software Corporation (an Ottawa virtual phone solution vendor) and ZVCA inked a $5 Million agreement that will enable the company to double its Ottawa workforce and a global partner agreement with Beijing NationSky Network Technology, a Chinese enterprise mobility solution vendor.

The delegation also met with over 100 Chinese investors and entrepreneurs. The goal was to promote Ottawa as an innovation and technology hub. Chinese investors had specific interests in the wireless, communications and medical devices sectors. In the last two years, Invest Ottawa has organized ten outgoing missions to China and received about 30 incoming delegations. To date, around 120 local high-tech companies have benefited from bilateral trade, investment, and partnership activities.

Here are some highlights from Invest Ottawa’s largest trade mission to date:

Invest Ottawa China Trade Mission

Sophie Chen of Invest Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson & Mayor Wang Anshun

Globe & Mail:

“From a business point of view, we’re starting finally to align,” Bruce Lazenby said. “Canada is really good at innovation, really bad at commercialization, and the reverse is true in China,” he said in Beijing Friday.

Ottawa Business Journal

“Today was a great opportunity to promote Ottawa as a leading innovation centre in Canada,” Mr. Watson said in a statement. “The message to potential investors is clear: Ottawa is open for business.”


Bruce Lazenby and Sophie Chen of Invest Ottawa, with Premiere Kathleen Wynne and members of Ottawa delegation


“For me it’s about building that network of customers or solution partners….(because) what I really want is to build a successful company,”Alec Main, CEO of Graphite Software.


“Every time I’ve gone to Beijing, I’ve come back with this sense of what great potential still lies in the Chinese market for Ottawa and our companies. Their magnitude is so massive and the population base is still growing…I’m hoping we continue that relationship for many years to come because it’s helping local companies.” Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

You can find more photos of the trade mission to China here:



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