SHAWINIGAN — A delegation of Shawinigan has just returned from an intense week-long mission in China, during which the mayor Michel Angers, believes to have found a partner promising to participate in the economic development of his city. For the moment, a pairing is established with Qingyang to promote exchanges in the cultural, tourist, scientific, agricultural and economic.
At the start, this trip served as a pretext for a collaboration for the production of the new show to The Phoenix, a musical comedy in the universe of Amos Daragon, the arts Centre. Interpreters of the region of Qingyang should soon be confirmed among the players. The other hand, of the artists of the Mauricie region could arise at various festivals and events in China over the next year.
The mayor of Shawinigan tells, however, that the impact of this mission will exult largely on the cultural context.
“The protocol is very important there; it took the mayor”, he recalls. “I managed to find a week to go. We had a home, they followed us everywhere, I have met entrepreneurs. We have worked in the tourism and economic development. We got there by telling us that we would be looking for opportunities, but they saw more!”
Qingyang is located in the north of China, a region that remains to be discovered for its development potential, according to Mr. Angers.
“This is a market that is totally untapped,” he said. “People are going to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. When we arrived at Qingyang, we understood that we offered an opportunity for them in North America, Canada, Quebec. They have the money, it is amazing!! It is a city that operates in the oil. They said that we were their front door. We were received like kings.”
In the mind of the mayor, the first agreement of collaboration looks promising. Mr. Angers expects to return to Qingyang in November.
“They make a list of opportunities, and we will do the same thing,” he explains. “We’re going to share our lists from there, we will target specific niches. What interests me, is to have entrepreneurs who want to invest. These people may bring new money in Shawinigan.”
“It is a cultural journey which has led to opportunities unheard of,” insists the mayor. “To be honest, I went backwards. I wanted more or less. I have a lot of work, the foundations of the UMQ to come… Finally, this is one of the travel to be the most productive that I’ve made.”
Mr. Angers still does not want to advance too far on the concrete projects that could sprout from these initial exchanges. However, he recalls that a certain mission, in 2013, is now helping to change the face of Shawinigan.
“When I went to Japan, it gave the DigiHub”, he remarked. “Coming back, it was clear, I could see the station of the digital. We currently have collaboration agreements with France. It’s going well, but here, have a door of entry in China that nobody has exploited so far… there are opportunities as I’ve rarely seen.”
In addition to Mr. Angers, the delegation shawiniganaise was composed of Josette Allard-Gignac, councillor of the district Almaville and president of Culture Shawinigan, Valerie Lalbin, director general of the Office of tourism, fairs and congresses in Shawinigan, Bryan Perreault, director general and artistic Culture Shawinigan and Jiaqi Wu, translator. The mission took place from 22 to 29 April.