Another delegation of Terrace officials to China jets off Friday on a four-day trip to continue negotiations surrounding a potential investment in heavy industry at the Skeena Industrial Development Park.
The second city trip since November, the delegation includes corporate lands manager Herb Dusdal, mayor Dave Pernarowski, and development officer from the Terrace Economic Development Authority (TEDA), Blaine Moore.
“We will be attending the China International Economic and Trade Fair,” Pernarowski told council May 12 of the trip to the City of Langfang. “We will be meeting with representatives from the Qinhuangdao Economic Development Zone to discuss our proposed project for the Skeena Industrial Development Park and also to sign a progress agreement that confirms the MOU we have in place with Qinhuangdao.”
The first trade mission that saw a Memorandum of Understanding signed was larger and included members of both the City of Terrace and Kitselas First Nation last November.
The city has kept the industrial development plans it is forging with China relatively secret, though it was revealed that the previous tour included a number of heavy industrial sites such as pipeline and aluminum wheel manufacturing plants.
The report to council stated that the money to pay for the mayor’s trip will be taken out of the city’s corporate lands account and will not exceed $1,600, with accommodation and hosting being payed for by the Qinhuangdao Economic Development Zone. TEDA is paying for Moore’s trip.
Chief administrator Heather Avison said that the city should be hosting a Chinese delegation in return in late June.
Pernarowski said the hosting will most likely be partially funded by the provincial government’s Major Projects Office.
“The Mayor being there is more than ceremonial,” said councillor Brian Downie at the council meeting. “He is the head of the city so I think it may hasten the relationship. It’s a good investment.”
“It’s really confirming the MOU we already have signed,” said Pernarowski. “I never thought I would be travelling to China so many times, but I am happy to be going back to represent Terrace. It is important that we show there is opportunity.”
The city of Langfang is about 250 kilometres west of Qinhuangdao.