SURREY – Calling it a significant step forward in building the business and civic relationships between the City of Surrey and those throughout India, Mayor Dianne Watts returned from her 10-day Business Mission, which took her to seven cities throughout India.
“Surrey has deep and strong natural ties to the people and the regions throughout India, and it was important for me to experience the country of India firsthand to fully understand those ties,” says Mayor Watts. “This was a Mission about achieving economic success and jobs for Surrey, and fostering relationships between our companies and their appropriate business matches in India, and I’m pleased to say that was achieved.”
In total, four Memorandums of Understanding and a number of deals were completed or moved to final incubation stage, and the 24 companies represented on the Mission established strong relationships with potential partners in India. Over 110 individual meetings were held during the highly successful trip.
For companies such as Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchens, a Surrey-based company, the trip yielded such positive results the company is looking at multiple offers from major Indian conglomerates to take the company countrywide. Life sciences company bioLytical Laboratories secured an eight-hospital commitment for its rapid HIV testing unit.
Simon Fraser University secured three MoUs in the area of student and faculty exchange and R & D agreements for groundbreaking technology invented by Dr. Erik Kjeang, with the SFU Mechatronic Systems Engineering Program in Surrey. A number of the clean tech sector companies made significant progress towards MoUs or deals, and organizations such as Mantra Energy are in the final stages of negotiations.
Surrey-based corporate services agency Oxus Nexus achieved a significant deal and is working on the details of a second to expand the company into India, and several promising relationships were formed in the wood and manufacturing sector and the film and entertainment sector of the visit.
In fact, due to the rapid development of partnerships during the trip, Mayor Watts asked the Consulate General of Canada to provide support to the Surrey companies in the area of local business service expertise to facilitate ongoing deals.
“We asked the Consulate General’s office to facilitate technical and professional business services locally in India for our delegates after we started seeing such strong results after the second day,” says Mayor Watts.
Advanced matching and exploratory work prior to arriving in India has resulted in a number strong relationships coming together quickly. “I’m pleased the businesses achieved early and mutually beneficial results with the companies they came to meet in India,” says Watts. “We anticipate over the next several months we will see a number more deals come together.
On behalf of the City itself Mayor Watts signed a MoU with the Mayor of the City of Janlandhar, Rakesh Rathmore, to establish relationships between the two cities in the areas of:
* Developing sustainability initiatives and emissions reduction strategies;
* Sharing information on clean energy systems;
* Building industry relationships to identify market opportunities;
* Sharing waste management practices;
* Identifying opportunities for academic partnership and R & D
Participating in the Mission were 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.
The trip, which included elected officials as well as corporate executives, took place February 10 – 21 and included time in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar. During the time in Amritsar all four elected officials visited the Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple). The visit to the holy Temple marked the culmination of the highly successful trip. All four elected officials were honoured by Temple officials who presented the delegation with saropas, the highest honour that can be bestowed on visitors.
The elected officials participating in the Mission were Mayor Dianne Watts, Councillor Linda Hepner, Councillor Barinder Rasode and Councillor Tom Gill.
Office of the Mayor