2018 Creative Industries Trade Mission to China

From April 9 to 13, 2018, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, traveled to China, accompanied by a Canadian delegation representing 56 companies in a range of creative industry sectors, including film, television, performing arts, gaming, museums, publishing and music, on the very first Canadian creative industries trade mission to China.

The purpose of the mission, which took place during the Canada–China Year of Tourism, was to explore new business opportunities and strengthen Canada’s commercial, cultural and diplomatic relations with China. It provided participants with the tools they needed to understand the intricacies of the Chinese business world and its opportunities and challenges. The mission included, among other activities, a business matching program, information sessions and networking events.

Mission objectives:

  • Facilitate entry to the Chinese market for export-ready small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Establish new partnerships between Canadian and Chinese creators and creative industries
  • Increase the visibility of Canadian companies that have achieved success in the Chinese market and leverage their networks

Mission results:

  • Close to 300 meetings—arranged for 27 of the participating companies—were organized between Canadian delegates and selected Chinese business partners, allowing them to gain a competitive edge by exploring new opportunities to grow their market.
  • This trade mission resulted in the signature of commercial agreements worth nearly $125 million.
  • In total, 23 collaboration agreements were signed between Canadian and Chinese companies, which will result in additional investments and jobs for Canadians.
  • The mission also served as a platform for participating organizations to advance ongoing projects, confirm collaboration between cultural institutions and promote Canadian creative industries.

Postcards from China

Read the Minister’s postcards illustrating the delegation’s efforts. For more photos, check out ourTwitter feed by searching for the hashtag #ChinaTradeMission.

April 8: Preparing for a busy week
Twilight shot with the Pudong district skyline and the Huangpu river in Shanghai, China
Description of the postcard picture: April 8: Preparing for a busy week

We’ve arrived in Shanghai. The next five days are going to be action-packed!

Objective: to help our creative industries establish new trade partnerships and relationships in China.

April 9: Learning from others’ experiences
Chinese Dragon sculpture
Description of the postcard picture: April 9: Learning from others’ experiences

The delegates meet with the members of the advisory committee on creative industries, which is composed of Canadian creative businesses with a strong foothold in the Chinese market.

Objective: benefit from their experience, gain a better understanding of challenges, identify opportunities and develop new business contacts.

April 10: The art of networking
Virtual Network above Beijing
Description of the postcard picture: April 10: The art of networking

Excellent meeting between the members of the Canadian delegation and representatives of Chinese companies. Competition is fierce, and networking is a crucial factor in developing relationships that lead to new customers.

Objective: to build strong ties and foster business partnerships between the Canadian and Chinese creative industries.

April 11: Second stop: Beijing
Bronze lion at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
Description of the postcard picture: April 11: Second stop: Beijing

The trip is already half over! I’m now in Beijing to see my counterpart, Minister Luo Shugang, whom I had the opportunity to meet in Ottawa in February during the consultations of the Canada–China Joint Committee on Culture.

Objective: to promote Canada’s creative industries to influential Chinese creators and investors.

April 12: Promoting and protecting cultural heritage
Blue sky and white clouds, ancient Chinese architecture
Description of the postcard picture: April 12: Promoting and protecting cultural heritage

We spend the day discussing the promotion, conservation and protection of Chinese and Canadian cultural heritage. We also address how China and Canada can foster collaboration and cultural export between their creative industries.

Objective: to protect our cultural heritage and promote its transmission to future generations by using culture as a tool of dialogue and a means of expression.

April 13: Looking to the future
Chinese New Year Traditional Festival Decorations
Description of the postcard picture: April 13: Looking to the future

After looking at the future of creative industries in the digital age, we head to the airport. We’ll bring back many ideas and possibilities in our luggage. The delegates’ comments on their experience during the trip confirm the enormous potential that China represents for our cultural organizations and businesses, as well as our economic growth.

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