VANCOUVER, Oct. 5, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- The Canadian city of Richmond is expecting more Chinese business investment and tourists, Mayor Malcolm Brodie told Xinhua after returning from a recent trip to China.
"If businessmen or visitors come from China, I think in Richmond they would feel very comfortable. It is a city of great diversity. Our businesses have ties to China, certainly our retail areas are very much focused on a lot of Chinese business," he said.
"There's hi-tech, there's retail, there's manufacturing, there's industrial. We have representation in all the different sectors and, of course, they are thriving businesses and we want to support them," Brodie said.
Being the home of Vancouver airport and the first entry point into Canada for most travelers from Asia, Richmond is eyeing Canada's Approved Destination Status (ADS) as a great chance to show the city to Chinese tourists.
Canada received the ADS from China in June, making it easier for visitors from China to discover Richmond.
Last year, Canada received nearly 160,000 Chinese visitors and this number is expected to rise 10 percent this year, and 15 percent in each of the following two years as a result of the ADS.
During his China trip, Brodie visited Shanghai, Xiamen and Qingdao, and witnessed the signing of contracts for Richmond company Whitewater West Industries to build waterslide facilities in Changzhou, Shenzhen and Shenyang.
Brodie said the trip was "mostly a networking set of opportunities" and a chance "to remind people, or educate people, as to what Richmond had to offer."
As a highlight of his trip, he hosted the "Richmond Day" activities at the Canadian Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo on Sept. 25.
"We were very impressed with the Shanghai Expo. The mere size of it all was so impressive and all the pavilions and all they had to offer," Brodie said.