Mon, Oct 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Canadian envoy sees wind-power projects as priority

Staff writer, with CNA

The new head of Canada’s trade office has pledged to continue to improve relations, while making Canadian-invested offshore wind projects his top priority.

Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Jordan Reeves arrived in Taiwan on Aug. 25 to succeed Mario Ste-Marie, who left in July.

It is Reeves’ second posting to the office after serving as deputy director from 2002 to 2006.

Asked about his goals for his tenure, which is expected to last three to four years, Reeves said in an interview that he would work to improve already close ties on various fronts, including tourism, trade, culture and education.

However, at the top of his list are the Hai Long II and Hai Long III projects off Changhua County, which could bring in C$8 billion (US$6.19 billion), he said.

“This would make it the largest single new investment from Canada in Taiwan, certainly in the clean-energy space,” he said.

Canadian firm Northland Power Co has a 60 percent stake in Hai Long II and Hai Long III, while partner Yushan Energy PTE Ltd owns the other 40 percent.

The Bureau of Energy in June awarded 232 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity to the Hai Long II project — in addition to the 300MW awarded it in late April — and 512MW to the Hai Long III project as part of the nation’s offshore wind auction program.

Calling the projects “highly significant,” Reeves said they have raised the profile of Taiwan’s business opportunities in Canada.

“I see this as being a sort of a catalyst on the trade and investment side. So we absolutely want to see it through,” he said.

Trade and investment relations are already strong, as Taiwan is Canada’s 12th-largest trading partner and fifth-largest in Asia.

Two-way trade grew 9 percent last year, Reeves said.

Travel and tourism will also be an emphasis, he said.

Two-way exchanges have been deeply rooted for decades, as there are about 60,000 Canadian passport holders in Taiwan and as many as 200,000 people of Taiwanese origin living in Canada, Reeves said, adding that travel between the two nations grew by a double-digit percentage last year.

Reeves said one of his memories from his previous posting was the hospitality of Taiwanese.

Reeves, who speaks fluent Mandarin, said he drove his family around the nation, and on one trip they once got lost near Taichung and stopped to study a map near a strawberry farm.

He was surprised to see a number of farmers walking toward them with boxes of strawberries, gifts to total strangers, he said.

“For me, I never forget that. To me that was always a great example of generosity, openness, hospitality of Taiwan and Taiwanese. Partly for that reason, I am very happy and excited to come back as the Canadian representative,” he said.

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