北大青鸟加拿大生产研发中心（Maple Armor）8月19日在加拿大魁北克省圣布鲁诺市正式开工建设。中国驻加拿大使馆公使参赞余本林、加拿大魁北克省外交经济贸易部部长达乌斯(Jacques Daoust)、加拿大魁北克圣.布鲁诺市长马丁( Martin Murray )、中国驻蒙特利尔总领馆副总领事石晓莹、魁北克投资署总裁阿尔波特(Mario Alber)等中外60余名嘉宾出席了当天的开工典礼。北大青鸟集团董事长许振东在开工典礼上致辞。北大青鸟环宇消防设备公司董事长蔡为民出席工程开工奠基仪式。
Chinese firm set to expand Quebec unit
Maple Armor to ship back to China
Solutions d’alarme Incendie Maple Armor Canada Inc., adivision of Beijing’s Beida Jade Bird Universal Fire Alarm Devices Ltd.,confirmed Tuesday it will build a 40000-squard-foot plant in St-Bruno that willemploy about 70 people by 2017.
But even before construction begins this year forlaunch in 2015, Maple Armor Canada vice-president Gelin Zhang told reportersthat the company is extending its land holdings at the St-Bruno industrialpark.
The company bought a 130000-square-foot lot for its$30-million plant, which will build components for fire alarms, such as controlpanels, sprinklers and hear and smoke sensors.
In an inversion of the usual flow of good s, about 70 percentof the plant’s production initially will be shipped to China, said Zhang. Themajor reason for this is that Canada has a certification process that meetsstringent international norms for the alarm systems, which will be installed inhotels, government buildings, schools and commercial institutions.
Such a pant could have been built in China, but at amuch higher cost, requiring a complex and through vetting of the certificationprocess.
The prospects of establishing a beachhead in St-Brunofor the North American market are excellent, Zhang added—so much so that thecompany is already buying land contiguous to its property in the industrialeco-park for the next phase.
“We had an option to take another parcel of land, theright of first refusal, and we(exercised) that option. We already are in theprocess of extending the land.”
Jacques Daoust, Quebec’s minister of the economy,innovation and exports and a former president of Investissement Quebec, which solicits inward investmentsfrom abroad, confirmed that the agency is contributing $4 million of the $30million cost for the plant --$3million in interest-free loans and a $1-milliongrant.
But Maple Armor received “no special treatment,” saidDaoust. “They just considered that Quebec is attractive and we’re happy to seethat…… It’s a new source of wealth for Quebec from this company, which couldhave set up shop anywhere.
“But what’s new here is that we’re making things forChina. This is not ‘made in China’—it’s ‘made in Quebec for China.’ I think that’sa first.”
Daoust noted that “one way of seeing this is that withNAFTA, the very moment you’re based in Canada and in North America, andtherefore eligible for NAFTA. I assume that for a Chinese company, that’s veryattractive.”
Weimin Cai, president of Beida Jade Bird UniversalFire Alarm Devices, told The Gazette that the company is indeed targeting theU.S. market, but that Quebec offered more of a sure investment perspective.
“We think we can meet the U.S. demand form here,” Caisaid. “China’s relations with Canada are very good, but sometimes China-U.S.relations suffer.
“So I think this is a better investment climate.”
Zhang said that the process began in 2008, when MapleArmor approached the Investissement Quebec representative in Beijing.
“She was very, very helpful.”
Daoust said that a long view and “tenacity” arecritical in such matters, with the Chinese in particular.
“Maintaining discussions over a long period is thedelicate part. We are in competition with every other jurisdiction, includingU.S. states that want mega-companies. “But you start with 70(employees) and youbuild from there.”
Benlin Yu, the economic adviser and commercial attacheat China’s embassy in Ottawa, said his country has invested $1.9 billion inQuebec, out of about $53 billion for Canada as a whole. Much of that investmentis in energy in Alberta. Beijing’s Quebec holdings are largely in mining.
Yu added that other projects will be announcedshortly, including one in Longueuil and another “in northern Quebec where therewill be many Quebec senior officials.”