SPECIAL EDITION 2006 ITALIAN CULTURAL YEAR IN CHINA BEST OF THE WEST TRAVELLING THE ANCIENT SILK ROAD GUEST FEATURE ITALIAN CANADIANS IN CHINA

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1 SPRING 2006 CONNECTING ITALY AND CANADA T H E M A G A Z I N E O F T H E I T A L I A N C H A M B E R O F C O M M E R C E I N C A N A D A V A N C O U V E R E D M O N T O N C A L G A R Y SPECIAL EDITION VANCOUVER CELEBRATES ITS CHINESE HERITAGE 2006 ITALIAN CULTURAL YEAR IN CHINA TRAVELLING THE ANCIENT SILK ROAD BEST OF THE WEST The Chamber s Olympic Project GUEST FEATURE ITALIAN CANADIANS IN CHINA

2 TRIUMF Sharing Knowledge Across the Ocean TRIUMF, Canada s fundamental physics research institution, is proud of its long-standing collaborations with its colleagues in China Designing and Building for the Future Designing and Building for the Future Exchanges with TRIUMF have increased our mutual understanding on many levels. Professor Qingrui Xu, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou During my stay at TRIUMF, the informal discussions with colleagues expanded my horizon and motivated me to pursue research in my field, as well as to explore research in other fields. Professor Shaomin Chen, Tsinghua University, Beijing Our many collaborations with colleagues in Beijing and Shanghai have produced invaluable exchanges of knowledge. Philip L. Gardner, TRIUMF TRIUMF 4004 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 2A

3 features IN THE SPOTLIGHT The Ancient Silk Road REGIONAL FOCUS The New Marco Polos ASK THE EXPERTS A Driving Vision Vancouver s Italian Culture Well Dressed Man BEST PRACTICE Building a Strategic Partnership GUEST FEATURE China s Role in the Global Economy CHAMBER NEWS Best of the West Missions & Events BUSINESS DIRECTORY Listing of Chamber Members Editor: Executive Director: Production: Graphic Design: Art Direction: Photography: Tara Foote Elizabeth Iachelli Footeprint Communications Brent Foote JC Ospino, Alliter CCG Cristina Ropolo (Year of Italy in China) Contributing Writers: Tara Foote, Elizabeth Iachelli, Donna Horbay-Petronio, Troy Wilson, Franco Mammarella Advertising Sales: Membership & Events: Joe Ganci, Dusan Rnjak, Antonia Butti Avril Camozzi, Joe Ganci Conexus (ISSN ) is published by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada in cooperation with Footeprint Communications. Contents of this publication may not be reproduced without prior written permission of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada. Suite West Pender St. Vancouver, BC V6C 1H2 T: F: PM

4 Silk became a precious commodity, highly sought after from a very early time. THE ANCIENT Silk Cloth The Silk Road. The words alone conjure up images of vast expanses of burning and arid land, mountain passes buried under eternal snows and intrepid voyagers somewhere between China and Italy, drawn by the lures of trade in silk and other precious commodities. But in addition to its use as a trade route, this network of roads covering Eurasia helped to spread ideas, values, cultures and knowledge. The resulting enrichment and technological progress contributed significantly to the flourishing and development of civilizations. According to legend, the production of silk began accidentally. The story states that in the 27th century B.C. a Chinese empress dropped a silk cocoon into her cup of tea. As she retrieved the cocoon from the cup, it unfolded into a shimmering thread. The empress, enchanted by the raw beauty of the thread, had a loom created so that the silk could be woven into a fabric. No one will ever know if this story is truth or myth, but we do know that around that time the Chinese began cultivating silk worms and producing silk as a fabric. Initially, silk was a luxury. Only the Emperor and his court were allowed to wear silk clothing. Before long, though, La via della Seta. La parola da sola suggerisce immagini di vaste distese aride e bruciate, montagne che giacciono sotto eterne coltri di neve e viaggiatori intrepidi tra la Cina e l'italia attirati dal richiamo del commercio della seta e di altre merci di lusso. Ma accanto alla funzione di rotta commerciale, questa rete di strade che si irradiava per tutta l'eurasia aiutò anche a diffondere idee, valori, culture e conoscenza. L'arricchimento che ne risultò e il progresso tecnologico contribuirono significativamente al fiorire e allo svilupparsi delle civiltà. Secondo la leggenda, la produzione della seta iniziò in modo del tutto casuale. La storia narra che nel 27esimo secolo A.C. un'imperatrice cinese fece cadere un bozzolo di seta nella sua tazza del thè. Non appena recuperò il bozzolo dalla tazza, esso si schiuse diventando un filo luccicante. L'imperatrice, incantata dalla bellezza naturale di questo filo, fece realizzare un telaio affinchè il filo di seta potesse diventare un tessuto. Nessuno sa davvero se questa storia sia realtà o mito, ma ciò che di vero c'è è che in quell'epoca i cinesi iniziarono ad occuparsi della produzione della seta coltivando i bachi. Inizialmente la seta era un bene di lusso. Solo all' Imperatore e alla sua corte era permesso vestire abiti di seta sebbene la sericoltura (la coltivazione del baco da seta e la produzione della 4 CONEXUS SPRING 200

5 Avvicinando l est all ovest- Il vestito antico sericulture (the cultivation of silk worms and the production of silk fibre) spread throughout the entire empire. Silk was woven for clothes, fishing lines, bowstrings, rag paper and musical instruments. Silk soon became a form of currency. Farmers paid taxes in silk. Servants were paid in silk. Silk became a precious commodity highly sought by other countries from a very early time, and it is believed that the silk trade was actually started before the Silk Road was officially opened in the second century B.C. An Egyptian female mummy with silk was discovered in the village of Deir el Medina near Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, dated 1070 B.C., which is probably the earliest evidence of the silk trade. During the second century B.C., the Chinese emperor Han Wu Di s ambassadors traveled as far west as Persia and Mesopotamia bearing gifts including silks. A Han embassy reached Baghdad in A.D. 97 and important finds of Han silks have been made along the Silk Road. At first, trade was held only with neighbouring countries, but as time went on, more regions gained access to silk, until it spread all the way fibra) fosse diffusa in tutto l'impero. La seta fu usata per gli abiti, per le lenze da pesca, per le corde degli archi e per gli strumenti musicali. La seta divenne moneta di scambio. I contadini pagavano le tasse usando la seta e i servi venivano pagati in seta. La seta divenne un bene di lusso, e in breve altamente richiesto dagli altri paesi. Per questo si pensa che in realtà il commercio della seta fosse iniziato prima dell' apertura ufficiale della Via della Seta nel secondo secolo A.C. La mummia di una donna egiziana che

6 IN THE SPOTLIGHT THE GREAT WALL: The Han Dynasty Silk Road began at the magnificent capital of Chang an (Xi an) - Sera Metropolis. The route took traders westwards into Gansu Province and along the Hexi Corridor to the giant barrier of the Great Wall. to Northern Africa and Western Europe, creating the Silk Road. This 6400 kilometre route identified as the Silk Road is actually a web of caravan tracks connecting Chang an, China (now the present day city of Xi an) in the East and Rome, Italy in the West beginning in the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century B.C. up through the 15th century A.D. The Silk Road contained three major routes leading westward from Chang an, with perhaps hundreds of smaller ways and by-ways. The northern route ran westward from China to the Black Sea; the central to Persia and the Mediterranean Sea; and the southern to the regions which now include Afghanistan, Iran and India. Its legendary travelers included Marco Polo, Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan. The Great Wall was built (in part) to protect the route from bandits. Until A.D.550 all silk woven in Europe was derived from Asiatic sources. About that time, however, the Roman Emperor Justinian sent two monks to China, where, at the risk of their lives, they stole mulberry seeds and silkworm eggs, hid them in their walking canes and brought them to the ancient Greek city of Byzantium. Under their supervision the eggs hatched into worms, and the worms spun cocoons. Byzantium was in the silk business at last. The Byzantine church and state created silk production centres and kept the secret to themselves. This allowed a silk industry to be established in the Middle East, undercutting the market for ordinary-grade Chinese silk. Thus, the Chinese silk monopoly ended. In The history of silk is shrouded in mystery. the 7th century, the Arabs conquered the Persians, and with them, the magnificent Persian silks. The Arabs then spread silk throughout Africa, Spain and Sicily as they expanded their empire. Marco Polo s journeys to China, the Crusaders, and the formation of the Mongol Empire led to even more development of the silk trade between East and West. By the 10th Century, Spain was Europe s main silk-producing centre. During the 12th century Italy became the silk capital of the western world and developed great silk-weaving centres; Lucca, Florence and Venice in the 13th and 14th century. These silk production centres also became the focal point of silk dye technology. As the industry became more developed in Italy, the issue of how much silk was used, whether it was first, second or third grade silk or blended silks, varied greatly from century to century and place to place. Even more importantly, it depended not only on the intended customer and their use for the fabric, but on the strength of the local weaving guilds in that time and place and their ability to protect their rights through enforced legislation. The luxury fabric trade that brought wealth and fame to Venice and other Italian regions was heavily regulated to ensure quality control and perfection in the high-end silk cloths. After 1450, innumerable laws were passed prohibiting the use of secondgrade and waste silks in the weaving of drappi da parangon, or cloths for comparison, that included the most luxurious satins, velvets and brocades. These fabrics were extremely expensive, CONEXUS SPRING 2006

7 portava con se della seta è stata scoperta nel villaggio di Deir el Medina, vicino Tebe e la Valle dei Re. La mummia risalente al 1070 A.C. è probabilmente la più antica testimonianza che abbiamo del commercio della seta. Durante il secondo secolo A.C. un ambasciatore di Han Wu Di, imperatore cinese, viaggiò fino in Persia e in Mesopotamia portando con se doni tra i quali la seta. Egli raggiunse Baghdad nel 97 e furono tante le sue scoperte lungo la Via della Seta. Al principio, solo i paesi tra loro confinanti intrattenevano rapporti commerciali, ma con il tempo altri paesi ottennero l'accesso alla seta fino a che questa non si diffuse dal Nordafrica fino all'europa occidentale, creando la Via della Seta. I 6400 km di strade mostrano quanto questa rotta commerciale fosse all'epoca una grande rete di carovane che mettevano in contatto Chang'an (l'attuale città di Xi'an) in Cina con Roma in Italia. Il traffico iniziò durante la dinastia Han nel secondo secolo A.C.fino al 15 secolo D.C. La Via della Seta si divideva in tre rotte maggiori che collegavano la zona occidentale a Chang'an, con forse centinaia di strade più piccole. La rotta settentrionale correva dalla Cina al Mar Nero; quella centrale dalla Persia al Mar Mediterraneo e quella meridionale fino alle regioni che adesso includono Afghanistan, Iran ed India. Tra i viaggiatori che si spinsero per queste rotte troviamo Marco Polo, Genghis Khan e Kublai Khan. La Grande Muraglia fu costruita in parte anche per difendere le rotte dagli assalti dei banditi. Fino all'anno 550 tutti i manufatti di seta europei provenivano dall'asia. Durante quel periodo l'imperatore romano Giustiniano mandò due monaci in Cina, dove essi mettendo a rischio le proprie vite, rubarono semi della pianta di gelso e uova di baco da seta, li misero al sicuro nei loro bastoni per camminare e li portarono fino all'antica città greca di Bisanzio. Sotto la loro supervisione le uova si schiusero lasciando uscire i bachi e questi ultimi filarono i bozzoli. Alla fine anche Bisanzio entrò nel commercio della seta. La Chiesa e lo Stato bizantino crearono delle produzioni imperiali e mantennero il segreto. Questo permise alle fabbriche di seta di stabilirsi nel Medio Oriente spezzando il monopolio del mercato cinese della seta. Così il monopolio cinese della seta ebbe fine. Nel settimo secolo, gli Arabi conquistarono i Persiani e con loro, anche le magnifiche sete. Gli Arabi allora diffusero la seta mediante le loro conquiste, in tutta l'africa, la Spagna e la Sicilia. I viaggi di Marco Polo in Cina, le Crociate e la formazione dell'impero mongolo aiutarono ancor di più lo sviluppo del commercio della seta tra l'est e l'ovest. Durante il decimo secolo la Spagna fu la maggiore produttrice di seta. Durante il dodicesimo secolo l'italia divenne la capitale della seta del mondo occidentale e svilppò importanti centri di produzione: Lucca, Firenze e Venezia nel tredicesimo e quattordicesimo secolo. Questi centri di produzione divennero anche i punti nevralgici della tecnologia della tintura della seta. Con lo svilupparsi dell'industria in Italia, il problema di quanta seta si usasse, non importa se fosse di prima, di bassa o di qualità mista, variò sensibilmente lungo i secoli e da posto a posto. Ancora di più esso dipese dall'influenza e dalla potenza delle corporazioni e dalla loro abilità a proteggere i propri diritti attraverso le legislazioni. m B.C. Half a silkworm cocoon unearthed in 1927 from the soil astride the Yellow River in Shanxi Province, in northern China, has been dated between 2600 and 2300 B.C. m 200 B.C. The Silk Road was officially opened in the second century BC. An Egyptian female mummy with silk has been discovered in the village of Deir el Medina near Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, dated 1070 BC, which is probably the earliest evidence of the silk trade. m 550 A.D. Then around AD 550, two Nestorian monks appeared at the Byzantine Emperor Justinian's court with silkworm eggs hidden in their hollow bamboo staves. Under their supervision the eggs hatched into worms, and the worms spun cocoons. Byzantium was in the silk business at last. The Byzantine church and state created imperial workshops, monopolizing production and keeping the secret to themselves. m A.D. Marco Polo is probably the most famous Westerner who travelled on the Silk Road. m 1600s A.D. The discovery of a sea route from Europe to Asia in the late 15th century dealt a damaging blow to the Silk Road. With less cost, harassment and danger, most goods and materials were conveyed through the sea route.

8 IN THE SPOTLIGHT The northern Italian city of Como, site of high quality silk manufacturing. Spinning silk from the cocoons of the silkworm. and they had to pass guild inspections and contain specific coloured thread markers to signify that they were made from the finest silk threads, dyes and weaving techniques. At about this time France took the lead in the silk industry from Italy, and in turn, Italy began to set the tone in fashion. Many French Protestants were textile weavers and they fled France establishing silk mills in Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland. The silkworm, however, did not flourish in these cool climates. After World War II, lower trade barriers drove a continent-wide economic boom. Italian clothiers traveled to Paris, the capital of fashion, to learn the latest weaves and styles. Italy s own growing wealth fuelled the rise of Milan, Rome and Florence as fashion hubs. Even as some high-wage European countries began scaling back their textile industries in the 1960s and 1970s, Italy s was flourishing. In Biella, more than a thousand textile companies helped to make the region one of the richest industrial districts in Italy. Europe felt the rumblings from China in the late 1980s, when it ramped up production of silks, the traditional Chinese product. The resulting surplus drove many European firms out of business, but buyers then rejected the Chinese silks for their lesser quality. Still, the competitive threat of its factories continues to bear down on the small towns that for more than a century helped power the Italian economy. These trades built on craftsmanship and prestige had dismissed the threat from low-wage countries for years. But they are suffering today as China steadily narrows the quality gap. In 2005 China exported $20 billion in textile products, a 53% increase from three years earlier, making it the world s second-largest textile exporter behind the European Union. Although today China is the largest textiles producer in the world, in many sectors of the market Italy s position remains solid. Today Italy produces 91% of all the silk produced in Europe. Presently most Italian silk is made in Northern Italy near the city of Como, where the white mulberry trees are planted for the silk worms. The city of Como covers 78% of this amount all by itself. Its annual production totals 3,200 tons of silk broken down into material for clothing, upholstery, decorator fabrics, scarves, ties and shawls. Il commercio del tessuto di lusso che portò benessere e fama a Venezia e ad altre regioni italiane fu fortemente regolato per assicurare un controllo sulla qualità dei vestiti di seta. Dopo il 1450 furono approvate tantissime leggi che proibivano l'uso di seta di bassa qualità e lo spreco di seta nella tessitura dei drappi de parangon, o abiti da sera che venivano cuciti con gli ancora più lussuosi satin, velluti e broccati. Questi tessuti erano estremamente costosi, e dovevano passare le ispezioni delle corporazioni e contenere specifici contrassegni colorati che specificassero che erano stati prodotti applicando i più innovativi metodi di colorazione di tessuti. All'incirca nello stesso periodo la Francia sorpassò l'italia nella supremazia dell'industria della seta ed in cambio l'italia iniziò a dettare legge nel campo della moda. Molti Protestanti francesi erano tessitori e abbandonarono la Francia stabilendo le proprie produzioni di seta in Gran Bretagna, Germania e Svizzera. Il baco da seta, comunque, non potè sopravvivere con questi climi freddi. Dopo la seconda guerra mondiale, grazie a barriere economiche meno forti ci fu un boom economico su tutto il continente. I sarti italiani viaggiavano a Parigi, la capitale della moda, per imparare tutto sui nuovi stili e tessuti. La crescita del benessere in Italia alimentò la nascita di Milano, Roma e Firenze come centri nevralgici della moda. A Biella, più di un migliaio di fabbriche aiutarono a rendere la regione una dei più ricchi distretti industriali in Italia. Gli europei sentirono il trambusto proveniente dalla Cina negli ultimi anni ottanta, quando essa scalò la produzione di sete, prodotto tradizionale cinese. Il surplus produttivo che ne derivò portò fuori dal commercio molte fabbriche europee. Ma gli acquirenti allora iniziarono a non volere le sete cinesi a causa della loro bassa qualità. La minaccia della competizione trascinò in basso le piccole città che per più di un secolo furono il motore dell'economia italiana. Il commercio basato sull'abilità artigiana e sul prestigio, per anni allontanò il pericolo dei paesi meno avanzati. Ma adesso i paesi più moderni stanno soffrendo l'accorciarsi del gap qualitativo della Cina. Nel 2005 la Cina ha esportato 20 miliardi di dollari in prodotti tessili, con il 53% di incremento nei precedenti tre anni, rendendolo il secondo più CONEXUS SPRING 2006

9 In economic terms, Italy exports US$1.1 billion worth of silk each year and is the undisputed leader of fine silks of superior quality in the market. Even so, about 70% of world silk production is from China and another 12% is from India. Italy, Japan, Russia, Vietnam and Brazil account for the balances. Late last year the European Union and China clinched a deal limiting the rise in Chinese exports of textiles and clothing to the EU until the end of 2008 in the hopes of averting the imposition of quotas that may have otherwise soured ties. At present, Italian silk manufacturers have options: Chinese garment makers are actively cooperating with their Italian counterparts to enlarge trade volume and improve their designs, techniques and capital capability. In addition, several Italian garment makers are willing to work together with their Chinese counterparts to expand the trade of clothing and industrial machinery and to set up distribution channels in China. As another alternative, high-end Italian exporters, mainly family-owned companies, are coming together, organizing themselves more efficiently, innovating and responding more quickly to changes in consumer tastes. Top quality textile makers in the city of Como, for instance, have banded together to create a new brand called Seri. Co, used to guarantee quality standards for silk that finds its way into haute couture lines and other apparel. The new and proposed partnerships are part of both countries efforts to promote barrier-free working relationships between China and Europe, with the hope to rekindle the spirit of the china desk ad_bill lau pref.qxp 3/15/ :50 AM ancient Silk Road KPMG LLP, the Canadian member firm of KPMG International, a Swiss cooperative. KPMG s China Desk in Canada KPMG s China Desk, led from Vancouver, is comprised of professionals who can guide your company through the labyrinth of regulations and considerations so you can take advantage of China s booming economy. For information, contact: Bill Lau Walter Pela grande esportatore tessile al mondo dopo l'unione Europea. La Cina importa inoltre tessuti seppur in più limitate quantità. Sebbene oggigiorno la Cina sia il produttore tessile più grande nel mondo, in molti settori del mercato la posizione italiana rimane solida. L'Italia attualmente produce il 91% della seta europea. La maggior parte della seta è prodotta nel nord Italia vicino la città di Como, dove i bianchi alberi di gelso vengono piantati per i bachi da seta. La città di Como copre da sola il 78% della produzione. La sua produzione attuale è di tonnellate di seta (suddiviso in materiale per abiti, tappezzeria, industrie di decorazione, sciarpe, cravatte e scialli). In termini economici, Como esporta per il valore di all'incirca 1000 milioni di Euro ogni anno, rendendolo il secondo al mondo in termini di volume totale di esportazioni ed il leader indiscusso nel mercato. Riguardo allo specifico delle industrie della seta, l'italia è al terzo posto con il 18% dopo l'india e la Cina, che fatturano rispettivamente il 30% e il 27% del mercato internazionale. Negli ultimi anni l'unione Europea Page 1 e la Cina hanno stretto un accordo che limita la The tailoring of silk by Italian fashion designers crescita dell'esportazione remain without rivals. Italian silk is of extraordinary cinese di tessuti e di quality and craftsmanship. abbigliamento nella UE fino alla fine del 2008, sviando l'imposizione di quote che avrebbero potuto inasprire il commercio delle cravatte. Nel presente, il destino dei manufatti di seta italiani hanno due possibilità:i disegnatori di abiti cinesi stanno attivamente cooperando con le loro controparti italiane per aumentare il loro volume d'affari e per migliorare il loro design, la tecnica e le capacità. In aggiunta, molti stilisti italiani vogliono lavorare con le loro controparti cinesi per espandere il commercio dell'abbigliamento e dei macchinari professionali e per organizzare i canali distributivi in Cina. Un'altra alternativa: gli esportatori di prodotti di alta qualità, per la maggior parte con industrie a conduzione familiare, si stanno unendo, organizzandosi in maniera più efficiente e razionale per fare fronte più velocemente ai cambiamenti dei gusti del consumatore. I più importanti produttori di seta nella città di Como, per esempio, si sono uniti per creare un nuovo marchio chiamato Seri.Co, usato per garantire standards qualitativi per quanto riguarda la seta e per penetrare il mercato del haute couture e di altre linee di abbigliamento. Le nuove partnership sono parte degli sforzi congiunti dei due paesi per promuovere l'abbattimento delle barriere tra Italia e Cina e riaccendere lo spirito dell'antica Via della Seta. CONEXUS SPRING 2006

10 REGIONAL FOCUS Artist s rendering of the new Fairview Container Terminal. CLEARING THE PORT CLOG The Port of Prince Rupert Over the past 15 years, the markets of East Asia have been the fastest growing in the world. Canada s West Coast has the advantage of greater proximity to these major markets more than any other industrialized region of North America. The dynamic economies served by ports like Shanghai, Busan and Singapore are closer to Vancouver by about two days sailing time by container ship than they are to the US Asian gateway of Long Beach/Los Angeles in California. They are almost a day closer still to the northern B.C. port of Prince Rupert. Increasing congestion at West Coast ports is spurring global supply chain planners to pursue alternative routings. In 2004, gridlock at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach forced more than 100 ships with $4 billion in cargo to be diverted to other ports. Companies sourcing in China required a better balance of transportation options to meet the demands of the North American market. In response, the Canadian government has approved the conversion of British Columbia s Prince Rupert Fairview Terminal into an ultra-modern high capacity container-handling facility, and the Prince Rupert Port Authority is proceeding with the construction. The imminent Prince Rupert port will offer an alternative route which adds tremendous flexibility to the China supply chain. Prince Rupert is gaining fame due to this $170 million container port expected to open in The Prince Rupert port will be the closest North American port for imports originating from China, since ships normally take a northern route across the Pacific Ocean. Cargo can then be sent on Canada National Railway networks to Chicago, Memphis and other key distribution points in the American Midwest. As Canada s only Pacific province, we have the potential to almost double our share of West Coast container traffic and create up to 45,000 new maritime jobs over the next 15 years and the expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert will play a critical role in that, said Premier Gordon Campbell. The 10 CONEXUS SPRING 2006

11 federal government s planned investment of $30 million to this project shows that Ottawa recognizes its importance not just to B.C., but to the national economy as well. The new facility will have an annual capacity of 500,000 TEU (a TEU is a standard Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit steel ocean shipping container) and will be capable of handling large postpanamax* container ships. Future plans feature the expansion of the terminal to reach an annual capacity of 2 million TEU. The marine portion of the conversion consists of extending the current dock face out into deep water through the construction of a new berth that will eventually be 400 metres long. This new wharf will extend 20 metres into the channel to a minimum water depth of 17 metres sufficient to accommodate the next generation of super post-panamax ships. The new wharf and upgrades to the existing substructure will support the installation of three super post-panamax container cranes. The terminal construction is estimated to cost $110 million. The wharf contract represents roughly one-third of the construction budget. This is something we ve been waiting for a long, long time, says Prince George-North MLA Pat Bell, adding that the new container terminal in Prince Rupert is a development the Liberal s northern caucus has listed as its number-one priority for all of Northern British Columbia since The port is expected to be a major boom to resource companies, farmers and value added manufacturers in northern B.C. and the prairie provinces, giving them access to the Asia Pacific market. It is going to transform the economy of northern B.C, said Don Krusel, president and CEO of Prince Rupert s port. This is an investment by government not in transportation infrastructure, but transformational infrastructure, because it really is going to transform the economy of northern B.C. and into Alberta. The emergence of China as a global trading partner is realigning patterns of trade and investment internationally, shifting global supply chains and framing the pursuit of competitiveness and prosperity around the globe. China is currently Canada s fourth largest export market. According to International Trade Canada, our exports to China grew by 90%, from $3.5 billion to $6.7 billion, between 1995 and During the same period, Canada s imports from China grew by more than 400%, from $4.6 billion to $24.1 billion. And China s recent dramatic growth is expected to continue. While it is currently the world s seventh largest economy, it is predicted to be the second largest by 2020, and the largest by Although the Port won t open until 2007, Chinese manufacturers and shipping companies are very anxious for it to happen. If we had cranes there today, we d be unloading ships already, said James Foote, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Canadian National Railway, which is contributing $30 million to the first phase of the project. Business leaders are very keen. The number one question I get in China is, Can it open sooner? *Ships classified as Panamax are of the maximum dimensions that will fit through the locks of the Panama Canal. Call COLE at: CONEXUS SPRING

12 REGIONAL FOCUS THE NEW MARCO POLOS ICCC PRESIDENTS SHARE CHINA CONNECTION By Donna Horbay-Petronio Today China replaces Japan as B.C. s second largest trade partner and is now Canada s fourth largest export market. B.C. s Italian Chamber of Commerce president Lucio Sacchetti and past president Luciano Zago have beaten the well worn path that B.C. entrepreneurs have taken to China in recent years. These two trail blazers share their experiences and insights of doing business in China since Luciano an architect, and Lucio an engineer, have made significant contributions to China s economy and trade through their expertise by raising the level of technology to facilitate rapid industrialization and growth in the 21 st Century. The Asia Pacific Foundation reports that China has become B.C. s second largest trading partner with a total value of 8.9 billion dollars, topping other Canadian provinces. Chinese imports are up 23 percent from last year, totaling 7.5 billion dollars. B.C. s exports rose 9% to 1.4 billion dollars. In comparison, the United States is the number one trading partner with total trade worth of 36 billion dollars. China s demand for B.C. s commodities and natural resources continues to grow rapidly due to the country s robust economy and growth in manufacturing. B.C. provides pulp and paper, wood, coal, copper and minerals, comprising 20.9 per cent of Canadian exports to China. B.C. s demand for electronic equipment, machinery and computers has risen significantly during the past years as well as consumer goods such as sporting equipment, toys, games, resulting to 25.4% of China s export to Canada. Mr. Sacchetti and Mr. Zago predict these figures will continue to grow with the enhanced technology. Lucio Sacchetti is the president and CEO of CMC Engineering Group. He was born in the small village of Castelli (Abruzzi). As a child he lived in different European countries, acquiring the knowledge of several languages. He returned to Italy for his secondary studies at the age of fifteen and received his education as an engineer. In the late sixties he immigrated to Canada and in three short months picked up the English language and landed his first engineering job with CD Howe. He worked with the company until it was sold in 1990 and started CMC, his own company, in Vancouver B.C. His business formula dictates: establishing and maintaining a good reputation, being the best you can be, stay focused and serve your customers needs and above all be honest. CMC is employee owned, at times employing up to 80 engineers. His hard and intense work is not without personal sacrifice as he admits his life is his work and he lives to work. His work drives him passionately, not for financial reasons but for the challenges that inspire him to solve problems, pursue his curiosity and in turn transform his blueprints into art. He admitted that working in China was not easy or simple. It requires a great deal more time and energy than working on comparative projects in North America, with less financial remuneration. He concedes that he continued to work in China for personal satisfaction and enrichment. He is very proud that he was able to contribute positively to the standard of living in China. Luciano Zago was born in Hamilton, Ontario and attended the Universities of Waterloo and UBC where he graduated with a 12 CONEXUS SPRING 2006

13 The Dalian project was developed with a holistic approach based on careful analysis of all aspects of urban design, natural setting, history and culture. degree in architecture. He worked in Boston before settling in Vancouver for the past eighteen years. He is married with two sons. Luciano is employed as a director for Bing Thom Architects (BTA) and has been in that position for the past 12 years. BTA employs 40 professionals and is a well respected firm that works internationally having worked on many high profile projects such as: the competition winning entry for the new town of Dalian, China; competition finalist for the Shanghai Expo 2010; completion of the master plan for the city of Yuxi, China; competition finalist for the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; the Trinity Uptown Master plan for Fort Worth Texas; the Channels project for Tulsa Oklahoma; the Area Stage Theater Complex in Washington D.C.; the new Aberdeen Center, Richmond B.C.; the Central City project, Surrey, B.C. and numerous other commercial and residential award winning projects. Luciano identified the new town for Dalian project as one of his most rewarding and exciting achievements with the aide of his highly skilled team of internationally experienced specialists of landscape architects, urban designers, transportation designers, civil engineers, regional planners, Chinese historians and scholars. The team accomplished an international first in completing a plan that embodied a contemporary expression of the lost Chinese art of making valuable habitation for people in dialogue with nature and history. A new standard was adopted with open consultation that was developed with a holistic approach based on careful analysis of all aspects of urban design, natural setting, history, culture. This plan has set the benchmark for future plans and growth incorporating the highest land value and the optimum use of finite resources. Luciano said it was rewarding to witness the incorporation of environmental standards and seeing the improvement of air quality and the rehabilitation of waterways. Both Lucio and Luciano first started projects in China in the early 1990 s. The call for work came as a result of their stellar international reputation. On his first trip, Lucio accompanied the Prime Minister of Canada on a trade mission in From that trip he undertook a feasibility study to reconstruct the infrastructure of the food management, storage and distribution. The intent was to change the methodology of gathering, storing and shipping food. Luciano s first project in China started with the planning of the new port city of Dalian. The old port city of Dalian had similarities to Vancouver s port in Delta, but needed to expand its capacity due to the increasing boom in the economy and the need for a sizeable port to handle the increasing volume in traffic. Both men noted similar challenges in their business dealings. Language was notably the biggest challenge and both entrepreneurs came equipped with their own interpreters. They also emphasized the need to have a Chinese partner, as work cannot be done without a known established, respected local who can open the doors and cut through the bureaucracy. Lucio noted that initially, consultants or outside experts were met by resistance. The business community in China is not used to paying for services, they want something concrete. Monies for consulting are not budgeted for and there is no seen value for negotiating contracts. Luciano s experience was different, as from the onset he was linked to a Design Institute that enthusiastically welcomed the new western Design Team in anticipation of a long-awaited change. Previously there was only the Russian influence that left a legacy that was not functional or efficient. As higher standards were developed over the years, the design institutes have now reached a level where they are more anxious to pursue their newly acquired skills so they are in much fiercer competition with the international communities and less accommodating to newcomers. continued on page 15 CONEXUS SPRING

14 ASK THE EXPERTS A DRIVING VISION Walking around the halls of their Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta high school, childhood pals Dylan Liley and Wolf Hatheway knew they wanted to start a business together. At age 22, their dreams came to fruition when they started selling vintage Vespa scooters alongside Christmas trees at an empty lot in Edmonton. The young men knew they were onto something as they watched their customers not only gaze in wonder at the machines, but also bought them on the spot. The successful venture soon led to the birth of Top Gear Scooters and the business flourished, soon selling European scooter and accessory brands such as Piaggio, Vespa, Derbi, Belstaff and Momo Design. Since opening in 2003, Top Gear has sold over 75% of all scooters sold in Alberta. Incredibly, after only three years in business together, Top Gear was awarded Dealer of the Year by Canadian Scooter Corporation, the Toronto based company with the exclusive rights to import and distribute new Vespa Scooters. The Vespa is recognized as the epitome of Italian design and with its elegant lines and classic aesthetics, there is a dramatic increase in the number of urban commuters who have purchased new or restored Vespas. Although some may be surprised at the thriving interest in Edmonton, Hatheway was not. The difficulties with parking, the cost of gasoline are two fundamental motivators for this upswing in Vespa popularity he explains. Scooters have become every bit as stylish as they are triumphs of engineering. Each and every detail has been showered with innovation and quality. In January of this year the business moved to its new 12,000 square foot facility that houses the largest selection of scooters in North America. Although the two friends are elated with their achievements, they still have aspirations. Liley explains that the goal of Top Gear is to educate people to change the way they live. Scooters are the answer to the transportation, social and environmental ills in our communities. Liley explained. You achieve long-term success step by step. We try to achieve our goals one at a time, looking at each day as a chance to move one notch above yesterday. The life long friends have triumphed together from their high school days until the present, measuring their success not on what they have accomplished, instead measuring it on how much they have left to do. Whistler, British Columbia SCOOTERS w w w. t o p - g e a r. c a 14 CONEXUS SPRING 200

15 continued from page 11 Both Lucio and Luciano emphasized that to do business in China, you should have: ü ü ü ü A Chinese partner who knows the ropes and connections on the ground level (a financial investor helps a lot) An experienced translator that knows your business (this is more complicated than it sounds) A sound ground work in research of proposed endeavor A lot of extra time and money Chinese people have an admiration and respect for Canadians, who have established a golden reputation. Luciano and Lucio recognize the Italian connection while doing business in China. Business partnerships look for common ground, values and familiarity. In many ways the Chinese culture parallels the Italian culture: both respect family values, strong work ethic, artistic and cultural accomplishments in the long standing history. They both also love food and to do business around food. The international recognition for Italy s excellence in products, particularly in clothing, furnishings, architecture, food, wine, machinery and automobiles is very evident in China. Both men emphasize that the opportunities for the Italian-Canadian business community has never been greater. With the connection of the Torino Olympics, upcoming Olympics in Beijing, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the common interests have opened a dialogue and communication between our countries bonding the unique links. The ICCC has been co-coordinating a series of international marketing activities to showcase western products to capitalize trade opportunities. A foundation has been built to showcase the cutting edge technology and the competency of our products. Comparing his work in China with the other 64 countries he has worked in, Lucio summarized that sometimes it can be a courtship with no pleasure. Luciano commented that his firm has never completed a building, only plans, as the Chinese have their way of doing things and building structures. It should not be forgotten that the Chinese state remains deeply entrenched in the economy and politics and is part of doing business. Local business draws its support from the technocrats, the military, the police and the new social elites. The government accounts for 38% of the country s GDP that employs 85 million people or one third of the urban work force. Given these challenges, doing business in China may not be as smooth as silk, but Lucio and Luciano have proven that it can be done. The work that BTA and CMC have accomplished has allowed the companies to grow and prosper in terms of skills and experience. It was noted that in some ways the Chinese are more open to new ideas than North Americans. As China prospers there continues to be a growing market for quality Italian and Canadian goods and services awaiting the innovative entrepreneur. Vintage International Ltd. Wines Cantine Eugenio Tinazzi e Figli, Veneto Castello Di Monsanto, Tuscany Casal Thaulero, Abruzzo Miranda Wines of Australia Spirits Bosco e Figlio Distilleria Liquori Fondata 1864 Douglas Laing & Co. Ltd. Scotch Whisky Blenders, Bottlers and Maltsmen Foods Val Paradiso Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Organic and Traditional), Sicily Pasta Granoro (Organic and Traditional) Vintage International is an importer and distributor of fine wines, spirits and specialty foods ELBOW DRIVE S.W, CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA T2S 2J9 Phone: ~ Fax: ~ Cell: CONEXUS SPRING

16 ASK THE EXPERTS Baccarat, Riedel and Frette are registered trademarks of their respective owners. Start with lavish amenities like Baccarat crystal, Riedel glassware, Frette linen and the most esquisite food and wine available anywhere. Add the intimacy of a spectacular dining room with unparalleled personal service and the expertise of a chef-run kitchen dedicated to perfection. What do you have? An experience like no other centini.com Culinary Treasure Pining away for a trip to Italy? Centini Restaurant and Lounge on 8th Avenue in Calgary may satisfy your desires. This modern Italian restaurant offers four areas (the main dining room, the lounge, the private function room and the theatre kitchen) to enjoy exquisite dining. Owner/Chef Fabio Centini has combined his love of food, wine and his Italian heritage to bring patrons both creativity and innovation. Chef Centini savours the freedom to create and experiment and yet not lose the traditional taste and identity of his cuisine. The restaurant s two storey wine cellar features several hundred offerings that are all available on the wine list. The selections from every region in Italy are astonishing. Tuscany and Piemonte are especially strong and Chef Centini has done his homework, as he concentrates on smaller estates, often from lesser known, but highly respected wine districts. There are also several carefully chosen wines available by the half bottle. Centini is a classically trained Italian chef whose first stint was as a kitchen apprentice, learning trade secrets from many well-known and skilled chefs along the Italian countryside. He worked his way through the different kitchens of several restaurants and international chain hotels, eventually settling in Montreal where he was the executive chef at Le Latini for 18 years. While in Montreal, Chef Centini was also the Canadian chef for the Grand Prix Ferrari team and hosted many exclusive food and wine events for the major Italian wine producers. His culinary career has taken him around the Mediterranean regions, thus learning from Italian, French and Spanish influences. In view of this, diners to Centini Restaurant are treated to a fresh burst of varied tastes and aromas. The menu at Centini incorporates family secrets of traditional Italian dishes with a current twist, delivering an extraordinary dining gift to visitors. His passion for fish dishes ensures there are always daily fish creations on the menu; in particular he enjoys creating with tuna and sea bass. There are many wonderful menu choices each displaying the creativity and imagination of Chef Centini. If you can t make it to Ancona for dinner, Centini is the closest thing this side of the Mediterranean. 1 CONEXUS SPRING 200

17 Celebrating Vancouver s Italian Culture Joe Finamore, President, Italian Cultural Centre The Italian Cultural Centre is a Vancouver landmark complex that for 29 years has been operated by the Italian Cultural Centre Society: a non-profit organization with over 1,000 individual members and 38 Italian-Canadian Association members. Situated in east Vancouver, the Centre is well known for its ability to accommodate small gatherings of 5 to large groups of 700 for meetings, conferences, trade shows and social events. Throughout the year all manner of activities, educational programs and events are held here. In 2005, over 100,000 people took part in these functions and thousands more made casual visits to the Centre. Guests are drawn to a variety of cultural activities such as art exhibits, seminars, concerts and performances as well as the many banquets and large celebrations including weddings and other special occasions, as well as corporate events for clients or staff. The Society prides itself on the tremendous value, expertise and unique experience that it provides its guests. Clients have the ability to create memorable events with the expert assistance of Catering Manager, Fabio Rasotto, and Chef Lindsay Mork, who have made a routine of catering to 500 guests while accommodating the varying tastes and schedules of a myriad of clients. A delicious Italian dinner is always memorable and has allowed the reputation of the Italian Cultural Centre s catering service to grow with each year. The location, only 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver, along with ample free parking (250-stall lot) makes every visit convenient. However, what is sure to make an experience at the Italian Cultural Centre truly irresistible is the newly renovated main banquet hall. With an elegant, completely new interior, every guest s experience will reach a new level of enjoyment which will not only include a fine meal but also beautiful surroundings and state of the art audio and visual features. CONEXUS SPRING

18 ASK THE EXPERTS Essential Home Selling Preparations Selling your home should be a positive experience that leaves you with feelings of satisfaction and gratification. Every bit of prep work you do helps you get the most return from your investment. Before you even decide to sell the house, get pre-approved for a home loan by a lender you trust. After that, research the housing market in the area where you wish to live to have a good idea how much it will cost to buy a replacement. Next, determine your home s fair market value. Real estate agents will almost always help you establish value as a courtesy, but you may choose to take it a step further and have an appraisal done by a licensed professional. Often home owners forget to calculate the expenses involved in buying a new home and selling their current one. When buying, include moving expenses, loan costs, the down payment, home inspections and title work and policy. The lender should give you a disclosure of estimated costs when you apply for loan pre-approval. Costs to sell will include the real estate commission, attorney, and other professional fees. There is also excise tax for the sale, and prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, (such as property taxes). Most realtors can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs. A good realtor should keep you advised of offers received, provide regular progress reports and negotiate on your behalf. A lot of work needs to be done in preparing to sell your home, but the time is worth it when you consider the value of what you are selling. This effort will more then pay for itself when you arrive at the ideal outcome. The real estate market is diversified and constantly changing. It is to your benefit to choose experienced professionals. Italo Fionda has fulfilled the real estate needs of his clients for more than twenty years. For a free analysis on the current real estate market, give Italo Fionda a call: RE/MAX Central 3906 Hastings, Burnaby, BC Servicing: Vancouver, Burnaby and vicinity 18 CONEXUS SPRING 2006

19 Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant. Cary Grant Well Dressed Man Whether you work in a business formal or business casual office, most men like to look sharp and stylish. Of course, vanity and personal taste aside, what you wear to work should also complement a stylish professional image even in the most casual of offices. In 30 seconds, people make judgments about you based on how you look, says Charmaine McClarie, president of Image Design, an executive development and communications consulting firm in San Francisco. Gay Derk, of Derks Menswear, with stores in both Edmonton and Calgary, suggests, Observe how your colleagues dress, not only in your company but in your industry. Ask yourself, what does a leader look like? Then study those leaders at networking events and in business and industry publications. Derk also recommends going for quality, not quantity. Those who have been in senior-level positions for years can spot it immediately. Natural fibres such as cotton, wool, silk and blends of these fabrics last longer and wear better. Fit is also essential. Few people can buy something off-the-rack that fits perfectly. When you purchase a suit make sure you have it altered accordingly. It makes a subtle yet powerful difference. Whether you get help from professionals or do it on your own, be open to change. Each season, assess what s in your closet and determine if it s representative of your position as well as your goals. The easiest way to upgrade your office look instantly is to add a suit that isn t corporate gray. For example try a pinstriped suit from Versace or a slim fitting Zegna suit in dark blue. A little wardrobe building, updating or upgrading, will do a lot for your career and your personal life. Derks - ad done - article done - include photo CONEXUS SPRING 200 1

20 BEST PRACTICE Building a Strategic Partnership By George Lian, President of Canada China Business Association With headquarters in Vancouver, the Canada-China Business Association (CCBA) is a non-profit and non-political membership society established in 1997 for Canadian business people conducting business with China, particularly for Chinese- Canadian entrepreneurs conducting business in Canada. CCBA intends to bring Chinese-Canadian entrepreneurs together and make full use of their competitive edges and comparative advantages, by assisting them in developing their business in Canada and bridging a link for businesses between Canada and China to increase their cooperation and create more business opportunities for all members. During his visit to British Columbia in 2005, Chinese President Hu Jintao provided a major endorsement to Canada s multibillion-dollar dream of the BC gateway to the Asia-Pacific. In addition, the Canadian government has introduced the important strategy of building a pacific gateway, mapping out the plan for developing a trade, investment and transportation CCBA signs agreement with the government of Shandong Province to promote business, culture and trade between Canada and Shandong province. hub oriented toward the Asia-Pacific region, especially China. It is exciting for us to see that business opportunities between the two countries will now grow to a new level As Chinese-Canadians, CCBA members are very pleased to know that it is an agreement that both countries have the determination and a common interest to develop. If you would like to have more information about CCBA please contact us at (604) or Our web site is 20 CONEXUS SPRING 2006

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