Victoria Takes Home Grown Innovation to China

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps will lead a 19-person delegation to China this October to export innovation and further strengthen economic development, tourism, and educational opportunities between Victoria and China.

Joining Mayor Helps on the mission will be representatives from Tourism Victoria, the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Camosun College, and Alacrity Foundation, a local Victoria technology start-up incubator.

Departing on October 14, the eight-day mission will include visits to Shanghai, Nanjing, and Victoria’s Twin City Suzhou.

The goal of the mission is to export innovation to China as highlighted by Victoria’s Alacrity Foundation’s recent announcement to open a tech incubator/fund in Shanghai. The office will also act as an entry point for Victoria and Canadian-based business to set up operations in China.

Mayor Helps created a Task Force on Economic Development and Prosperity in 2015, culminating in a results-based action plan. The plan identifies key “engines” to drive Victoria’s businesses, generate jobs, raise household income, and increase well-being for citizens over the next four years. Entrepreneurship, start-ups, social enterprise, education, and tourism were all identified as key drivers to creating sustainable prosperity in Victoria. The high tech sector is recognized as Greater Victoria’s largest industry, with tourism being the second largest producing more than 22,000 jobs. 

Mayor Helps will join Tourism Victoria for part of the Showcase Canada event in Nanjing from October 17 to 19.

The visit to Victoria’s Twin City Suzhou will include the fourth signing agreement between the University of Victoria and Soochow University, signifying continuation of a robust partnership welcoming 100 students from Soochow University to the University of Victoria every year.

International student programs not only contribute to the local economy, but also allow for an exchange of ideas across cultures.

Mayor Helps will also join Royal Roads University as a guest speaker as they host their annual Global Alumni Summit in Nanjing from October 21 to 22.

Trip Itinerary:

Nanjing (Provincial Capital) – 5 days

Oct. 17-19: Showcase Canada Event

Oct. 21-22: Royal Roads University Global Alumni Summit

Shanghai – Oct. 20

Alacrity Foundation’s Shanghai office/incubator and “Canada House” opening celebration

Trade & Invest BC – visit their Business Accelerator, which supports businesses looking for international expansion offering local expertise, strategic advice, business contacts and office space.

Suzhou (Twin City) – Oct. 19 or 20

Visit with Mayor of Suzhou

University of Victoria fourth signing agreement with Soochow University

Quick Facts

  • Greater Victoria's largest industry is high-tech, with an economic impact exceeding $4 billion annually. Many local firms rely on global connections to grow their business and create jobs. These companies directly employ 15,000 Tectorians.
  • Tourism is Greater Victoria's second largest industry with $1.9 billion in economic impact and over 22,000 jobs.
  • UVic – 22,000 students, nearly 5,000 faculty and staff, $3.2 billion in economic impact
  • Camosun – 18,000 students, 900 instructors and staff, $1 billion in economic impact
  • Combined more than 30,000 full and part time students, more than 6,000 faculty, instructors and staff and over $4 billion in economic impact

China Mission Delegation List [PDF - 165 KB]