November 24, 2009


How to make like Harper and Obama
and do business with China


Hamilton, Ont. November 24, 2009U.S. President Barak Obama was there last week, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is heading there next week. World leaders are making a beeline for China in search of trade opportunities.

Coinciding with Harper’s visit, the Confucius Institute at McMaster University for Culture, Language and Business will hold a conference on how Canadian businesses can expand their links with China and with Chinese businesses in Canada.

Designed for small- and mid-sized companies, the day-long conference will take place December 4 at the McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton. Conference details can be found at Presenters at the conference include corporate executive and director Lynton (Red) Wilson, Luke Chan, associate vice-president of International Affairs at McMaster and business journalist Gordon Pitts.

China is one of the most dynamic economies in the world with a fast-growing consumer middle-class, one that is larger than that of the United States, says Angela Sheng, director of the Confucius Institute.

“There are 1.3-billion people in China,” Sheng says, “and yet Canadians are unable to tap into that market because they don’t speak the language or understand the culture. When you don’t know your client, especially in the protocol-bound Asian market, you are operating at a disadvantage.”

She says opportunities exist in tourism, hospitality, construction, manufacturing, education, art, heritage management, research, specialized technologies, and environment management, to name a few, but China has remained out of reach for Canadians who have felt overwhelmed by the language and cultural barriers. By
showcasing some of the success stories at the conference, Sheng hopes to lessen the fear factor.


For more information contact:

Angela Sheng,

Director, Confucius Institute for Culture, Language and Business

McMaster University

905-525-9150 ext. 23226

Jane Christmas

Manager, Public & Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988

Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869