The first week of October marked the latest installment of CMX Partnerships’ annual Mexican Trade Mission to Canada, which took place in Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria, British Columbia. Seven Mexican firms from various industries, including tech, forestry, investments, telecom, and manufacturing, traveled to British Columbia for a week of learning, networking, and new experiences under the leadership of Juan Navarro, CMX Partnerships’ President and founder of the Mexican Trade Mission to Canada iniatiative.
The week began with a series of B2B meetings, networking and guest speakers at University Canada West’s (UCW) modern campus under the Granville Street bridge. Guest speakers included Dr. Michele Vincenti of UCW, Oscar Malpica of Envisioning Labs, Alon Segev of law firm Segev LLP, and professor Dr. Salvador Treviño. The day provided an opportunity for the visiting entrepreneurs to be introduced to the region and network with business leaders from their respective sectors.
Day two saw the delegation have an early visit to the Surrey Board of Trade, hosted by President and CEO Anita Huberman. There the entrepreneurs met with a variety of Surrey-based business leaders to discuss the advantages of doing business in Surrey. In addition, the delegation visited two local firms doing groundbreaking work in cleantech. The first stop was CIMTech, a rapidly growing firm doing hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing, where the delegation heard from Founder and CEO Dr. Paul Ghotra. The second company visit was to Powertech, one of the largest R&D and testing laboratories in North America. Throughout the tour, the delegation learned about the wide capabilities of Powertech in cleantech research.
During the afternoon, the Mexican Delegation had a meeting with the Consul General of Mexico in Vancouver, Hon. Berenice Diaz Ceballos, during which they presented their companies and engaged in a fruitful conversation.
Day three saw the Mexican delegation catch an early voyage on BC Ferries to the provincial capital, Victoria. CMX Partnerships gathered an esteemed group of local businesspeople, authorities and entrepreneurs at The Union Club of B.C. for a day of presentations and dialogue centered around selecting British Columbia, and specifically Vancouver Island, as a place to do business. Throughout the morning, the delegates were able to engage in fascinating discussions with Dallas Gislason of the South Island Prosperity Partnership and Antonio Oquendo of Viion Systems.
At noon, the guests began to arrive for the Luncheon with the Mexican Delegation. The event was graced by many respected figures from Vancouver Island and around BC. The room heard addresses from Hon. Jagrup Brar, BC Minister of Trade, Councillor Chris Coleman, Acting Mayor of the City of Victoria, Bill Lewis, Vice President of the Downtown Victoria Association, and many others including outstanding business and community leaders.
Back in Vancouver on Thursday morning, the delegation paid a visit to the beautiful and historic building of Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Segal Graduate Business School. The morning was spent taking part in an educational workshop meant to provide a wide variety of information on Doing Business in Canada. The keynote speakers included Kirk Hill, Assistant Dean of External Relations for the SFU Beedie School of Business, Colleen McCrank, a Canadian Trade Commissioner and Nina Bader, BC Ecosystems Manager at the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator.
In the afternoon, the delegation then shifted to Metrotown in Burnaby where they were welcomed as special guests of Invest Vancouver. During the visit, the delegation enjoyed an insightful presentation on the advantages of doing business in Metro Vancouver by Senior Economist Gregory Freeman. After the meeting, the delegates were invited to take in the stunning 360° views of the Lower Mainland from the office tower.
Friday morning saw the capstone event organized by CMX Partnerships, the 2023 Canada-Mexico Dialogue Event, hosted at the historic Vancouver Club. The event began with a delicious breakfast and networking opportunity. Juan Navarro, Director of CMX Partnerships then commenced the Dialogue by inviting a series of esteemed guest speakers and panelists to take the stage. The speakers included Hon. Brenda Bailey, BC Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, Hon. Berenice Diaz Ceballos, the Consul General of Mexico in Vancouver, Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC, Jacquie Griffiths, President of Invest Vancouver, Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada, and Sue Paish, CEO at Digital Technology Supercluster.
The Dialogue also included two discussion panels, designed to foster free flowing dialogue about Thriving in Canadian-Mexican Business and Building an Innovative, Creative, and Sustainable Future Together, respectively. The first panel was moderated by Anita Huberman of the Surrey Board of Trade, with Dr. Michele Vincenti of UCW and Andres Abogado of Abolaw. The second panel was moderated by Loc Dao, Executive Director of DigiBC, joined by panelists Fabian de la Fuente, CEO of Solaires Entreprises Inc. and Carolina Mastretta, Founder & Studio Lead of Original Fire Games.
The illuminating Dialogue event came to a close with a networking session, officially closing CMX Partnerships’ 2023 Mexican Trade Mission to Canada.