Government: Canada needs an Asia strategy

In the first issue of the Points of View Asia-Pacific opinion poll, conducted by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, 86% of opinion panel members argued that Ottawa’s top policy priority for 2011 should be focused on developing a foreign policy strategy specifically for Asia. The opinion poll is the first to survey Canadians who are engaged with Asia through professional, academic and family interests. The full survey results on the economic and security outlook for Asia in 2011, the state of Canada’s relations with key countries in Asia, and the priority areas for Canadian government policy in Asia, can be viewed here.

And in case you missed it, the Asia Pacific Foundation released their report on Canadians in Hong Kong – the low end estimate – 295,000.  Get the story and report here.


Food & Beverage: Canadian Food Fair at YATA

Canadian fresh food products will be showcased at two YATA outlets in Hong Kong – New Town Plaza Phase III in Shatin and Tai Po Mega Mall in Taipo.  Canada Fair will promote our Canadian beef, veal, pork, fish and seafood. Canadian in-store product tastings will be conducted at stores throughout the promotion period.  Please contact Kitty Ko at the Consulate General for more details.


CSR: Ocean Park hosts Canadian Scout Group in supporting Ocean Park Conservation Foundation

Ocean Park hosted the 1st Hong Kong Scout Group’s Beaver Colony to support the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation – and bring the magic of the new aquarium to a group of CDNIS children.

The Grand Aquarium was the sleeping spot, in tents, for the young children hosted in the new Aqua City.  Behind the scenes tours, midnight jungle walks and animal care experiences made it an unforgettable experience.

The children also marveled at the nightly water laser show “Symbio” and learned about sustainable seafood options.  This was the first group to be hosted overnight in the new Grand Aquarium and the children were amazed! The media were also appreciative and wrote stories here:

Sing Tao

The Standard

Oriental Daily



Hockey: This Sunday, the Hong Kong Skateathon at Elements!

   This coming Sunday, the HK Typhoons which run the HK City League will be hosting its fifth annual Skate-a-thon fundraiser.  In addition to all the player fees, corporate sponsorship, private sponsorship, and private donations, we hold fundraisers throughout the year to help out with the league costs.  This year, 1/3 of all money raised will go directly to the SoCO program which gives underprivileged children a chance to play hockey (which many of you have already donated generously towards – Thank you).  The remainder of the money raised will go towards the operation of the HK City League run by the HK Typhoons (a not-for-profit organization).  If you could, we would appreciate it if you would forward the attached information about the Skate-a-thon to anyone you know who may be interested in helping out financially with this event as you have already done via sponsorship or donation.


2011 Skate-a-thon   – Supporting Youth Ice Hockey

What is it? 

            The Skate-a-thon is an annual fund-raising event that helps raise funds for youth ice hockey.  The 400+ children who play in the league will gather donations or pledges for the laps they will skate around the rink. 


Who is operating this event?

            The HK Typhoons is a not-for-profit organization that organizes and runs the HK City League and its own training programs for children.  The Typhoons was started by volunteers and the organization has grown to over 36 teams in its league as well as a charity for underprivileged youth.  The Typhoons have been promoting and developing hockey and sportsmanship for almost 20 years in Hong Kong.  We provide a fun and safe environment for boys and girls to play an exciting team sport.


Why are you raising money?

            There are two main reasons for fund-raising.  The first is to help support our charity program with the Society for Community Organization (SoCO).  The second reason is to help subsidize the cost of playing so that we can keep our league fees at a reasonable rate to make the game accessible to more players.  The HK Typhoons overall budget is funded by both league fees and corporate and private sponsorship.  The league fees cover approximately 50% of our overall costs.  Without corporate sponsorship and fund-raising (Skate-a-thon and auction), fees would double.  We have many volunteer board members, volunteer coaches, volunteer office staff, and keep staff down to a minimum, and many parents help with services to help reduce our costs as well (website construction and hosting – CNLink, legal – Weir Law, I.T. services – APG, design – MongMong fashion, and accounting).  


What is the SoCO program?

                The Society for Community Organization (SoCO) program is a charity that the Typhoons operate which gives local underprivileged children a chance to play hockey.  We provide training sessions throughout the year for approximately 50 children, and we also introduce some of those children to training lessons for hockey, equip them and put them on teams throughout the league.  We currently have 21 young boys and girls playing on teams in our league, and we will welcome another 3 this month.  Each SoCO player stays with our league year after year.  We have sponsors (corporate and private donators) who have raised more than half of the money needed to run this program already, and our goal is to have the Skate-a-thon help raise the remainder of the budget for this worthy program.  In addition, we also cover the cost of players outside of the SoCO program who no longer have the financial means to continue playing hockey.

When is the event?

            The event takes place from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at The Rink at #1 Austin Road West, in Elements Shopping Mall at the Kowloon MTR station.  All league players and parents will come out to support the event.  We hope to have over 400 youth skaters and all of their parents as well at the event.  All sponsor banners will be posted.


How can I help?

            You can help by making a donation to the HK Typhoons via bank transfer, paypal, or cheque (information listed below).  

Restaurants: White Spot, aka Triple O’s, Among Canada’s Top 50

In business, White Spot Limited is still on top of its game. Western Canada’s iconic restaurant chain has been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. Additionally, 87 per cent of British Columbians who dined out last year, did so at a White Spot restaurant – making 2010 a banner year.

Despite the challenging Canadian economy and intense competition in the quick-service and full-service industry, White Spot and Triple O’s both experienced sustained year-over-year growth. As a further testament to the strength of the brands, since 2009, White Spot has opened five full-service franchised restaurants, five Triple O’s quick-service locations and has recently built a 1548 square-foot state-of-the-art culinary center at its Home Office in Vancouver.

“Being named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies is an exceptional honour as it further validates our deep commitment to our employees, guests and partners,” said Warren Erhart, president of White Spot. “To know that nearly nine out of ten British Columbians have dined in one of our restaurants in the past year reinforces our belief that passion for great quality food and service fuels business success.”

Sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, National Post, and Queen’s School of Business, this prestigious award recognizes Canadian companies for their success in developing world-class management strategies and protecting the value of their businesses. In addition to a financial evaluation, the award identifies the efforts of the entire organization with respect to strategy, capability and commitment.

White Spot has taken an aggressive approach to growing its impressive footprint as a Western Canadian restaurant icon. Along with ongoing expansion in B.C. and Alberta, a continuously evolving menu, and a successful Red Seal chef apprenticeship and certification program, White Spot is also rapidly moving into the Asian market.

“We’re very focused on growth and introducing White Spot and Triple O’s into new Canadian markets as well as markets abroad,” said Erhart. “Our Triple O burgers have captured the hearts of Western Canadians and have been voted the best hamburger in Hong Kong for the past five years – now we’re looking to build on that success throughout other parts of Asia and beyond.”

White Spot is in the hospitality business, operating the White Spot brand of 64 family casual dining restaurants, and the Triple O’s brand of 55 premium quick-service restaurants. Both concepts are renowned for their unique tasting food, including the award winning legendary burger with secret “Triple O” sauce, their warm and genuine service, and their wide appeal to any demographic, any time.

About White Spot

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, White Spot is a B.C. legend. Founded in 1928, when Nat Bailey launched Canada’s first drive-in restaurant at Granville and 67th, the 83-year-young chain now sees more than 17 million guests annually at 119 White Spot and Triple O’s locations throughout B.C., Alberta and Asia. Bailey’s original vision was to build a restaurant that served the highest quality, unique tasting food and White Spot remains committed to continuing this tradition in each and every meal.

Insurance: Robert Cook, Manulife, discusses plans for Asia Pacific

Chamber Executive member, Robert Cook Senior VIce President and General Manager of Asia for Manulife, discusses their position and plans in Asia Pacific. The Bloomberg story here.


Manulife had 42,000 agents in Asia at the end of the fourth quarter, a 21 percent increase from the end of 2009. Cook wants to double the number of agents by 2015, although “it isn’t a primary measure I use” to gauge success.

Manulife climbed 35 cents, or 2 percent, to C$18.29 in 4 p.m. trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The shares have gained 6.7 percent this year.