New year, new hope for Chi­nese deal

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

As the 2015 Chi­nese lu­nar cal­en­dar ush­ered in the year of the sheep, fore­cast­ing peace and har­mony, North Glen­garry is hop­ing to forge busi­ness ties when it hosts its sec­ond Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion from Jing­men City.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the township’s “Sis­ter City” in Hubei prov­ince vis­ited North Glen­garry in July while lo­cal del­e­gates re­turned the visit in No­vem­ber.

CAO Daniel Gagnon says orig­i­nally the township be­lieved the group would be com­ing back for a visit in early Spring.

“Ini­tially, I was rec­om­mend­ing March or April,” says Mr. Gagnon “It’s not the most ideal time re­ally to take in any­where in Canada. Maybe June might be best, so there is no ice on the lake and snow on the fields.”

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity is hop­ing Chi­nese en­trepreneurs might be in­ter­ested in pur­chas­ing land in the township’s in­dus­trial park in Alexan­dria. Busi­ness­man Jim MacEwen of MacEwen Agri­cen­tre was re­ported to have some suc­cess when he vis­ited China as part of the North Glen­garry con­tin­gent last year.

“We’re not sure of the ex­act de­tails,” says Mr. Gagnon of the up­com­ing visit. “It won’t be a sim­i­lar del­e­ga­tion as the last time. It would be a more fo­cused (event), hope­fully with a po­ten­tial in­vestor to look into in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

“We’re hop­ing that some­body from the pri­vate sec­tor will be com­ing to look around,” he says. “Be­cause North Glen­garry has a Sis­ter City re­la­tion­ship es­tab­lished, the next visit would pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for po­ten­tial in­vest- ments.”

Mayor Chris McDonell ob­serves the township is ea­ger to at­tract new busi­ness.

“Any­thing that will help us in the township is great,” adds Mr. McDonell. Mr. Gagnon says the township also has dis­cussed with the Up­per Canada District School Board and Glen­garry District High School about a stu­dent ex­change pro­gram that may be­gin in Septem­ber.

“It is a good sign if we can make it hap­pen, that would be very en­cour­ag­ing,” he says. “We’re hop­ing that is the next step and we can hang our hat on it.”

Once again the del­e­ga­tion will cover its own travel and lodg­ing costs. Last year, the township rented cars for its guests.

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