Calgary, Canada, is recovering from the global crash of oil prices in 2014, and now it"s seeking more investments from China to strengthen its comeback, Paul Welitzkin reports from Calgary.
It"s called Panda Passage. The 24,600 square-foot indoor-outdoor space is being constructed at the zoo in Calgary, Canada. Next year its occupants will be four giant pandas on loan from China.
But the multi-million-dollar exhibit will be more than just flowing water, bamboo, shrub and rocks. It"s "a way for us to strengthen our ties to the Chinese community in Calgary and China," said Greg Royer, the COO of the zoo.
Canada has nurtured a long and productive relationship with China, according to Gary Mar, a former Canadian diplomat and provincial official who is now an independent business consultant.
"The country has benefited from Canadians who have had a profound impact on China," Mar said in an interview. "It started back in the 1930s with Dr Norman Bethune, who basically brought modern medicine to rural China and later served as Mao Zedong"s personal physician. In the 1970s the father of our current prime minister - Pierre Trudeau - made Canada one of the first countries to formally recognize the Mao government," said Mar.
The historical connection leaves many Chinese with a positive view of Canada that Rachel Yin, manager for global development at Calgary Economic Development, hopes to utilize in a strategy to attract more Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) to the city of 1.47 million, the largest in the western Canadian province of Alberta. The Philippines, India and China continue to be the leading source countries for immigrants to Calgary