Poly Culture Group, China’s largest art and cultural company, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish its North American head office in Vancouver, signalling that HQ Vancouver is well on its way to meet or exceed its target of attracting two international head offices to B.C. by 2017.
Premier Christy Clark witnessed the signing between HQ Vancouver and Poly Culture in Beijing while on her third trade mission to China joined by Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat.
Under this MOU, Poly Culture intends to use Vancouver as its headquarters for expanding at least three lines of business in the North American market, including performance and theatre management, art business and auction and cinema investment, creating opportunities for two-way cultural exchange between B.C. and China
“Not only will Poly Culture’s expansion into North America create jobs for British Columbians, it will bring added richness to our province’s multicultural arts scene,” said Premier Clark. “The fact that Poly Culture Group has chosen Vancouver shows confidence that our province, which has the second-largest Chinese Canadian community in Canada, is perfectly situated as a strategic base to promote Chinese cultural industry in North America.”
Wat first met with Poly Culture in 2014. She and the Ministry of International Trade team continued conversations with the organization related to establishing a presence in Vancouver during her last trade mission to China in March 2015. HQ Vancouver will now work closely with Poly Culture in its transition into the North American market and is supporting its efforts by recommending programs and opportunities in B.C. and helping Poly Culture reach out to local partners in cultural and other related industries.
“As North America’s Asia Pacific Gateway, Vancouver is the ideal location for Asian companies looking to establish their regional head offices,” said Yuen Pau Woo, president, HQ Vancouver. “Poly Culture’s arrival will benefit B.C. cultural industries by opening opportunities on both sides of the Pacific.”
Also in Beijing, Premier Clark, Wat and representatives from HQ Vancouver met with Beijing Performance and Arts Group (BPAG) to build on the Letter of Intent it signed with HQ Vancouver in September 2015 to establish a North American performance base in Vancouver. This meeting provided an opportunity to encourage the company to explore future opportunities in British Columbia and reinforce its confidence in Vancouver and partnership with HQ Vancouver.
BPAG consists of 15 performance groups and has produced and hosted large performances including events at Tiananmen Square, ‘China’s Three Tenors’ concerts, and operas at the Bird’s Nest (National Stadium) featuring tenor Andrea Bocelli.
“I fully and sincerely commend both HQ Vancouver and staff in the B.C. Ministry of International Trade for their excellent work in identifying and following through on potential candidates for head offices in Vancouver,” said Wat. “We are already seeing great results, and this is a perfect example of the team work required for this project – from my work to promote Vancouver in meetings with business representatives in Asia, to the great work of the ministry and support from HQ Vancouver.”
HQ Vancouver is a public-private partnership that works to support a B.C. government commitment to attract major Asian and international firms to invest in British Columbia and locate their North American presence in the province.
In May 2015, HQ Vancouver attracted its first international head office to B.C. when China Fiber Optic announced that its subsidiary, F-Pacific Optical Communications, would establish its head office location in Vancouver.
Head offices generate a number of direct economic benefits, including the creation of local, well-paying jobs, increased contribution to the tax base, and growth of indirect businesses services. One of HQ Vancouver’s goals is to attract 5 international business headquarters by 2020.
Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia’s BC Jobs Plan strategy to diversify international trading partners and secure new investment, and help propel economic activity and job creation throughout the province.