Cultural IQ In this Issue
1) Canada - Approved Tourism
2) Panda Bears coming to Toronto
Fostering Connections, Illuminating Insights 3) Real Estate Bubble
4) Hong Kong – Macao – Zhuhai
5) 2010 - 40th Anniversary of
Canada China Bilateral
Issue # 8, Dec.20th, 2009
Message from Christine Gao
Recently, I have been following some news on China and Canada‐
China relations development. I wish to take this opportunity to
share some thoughts and my personal perspectives on some of
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent China visit has
certainly brought significant results and achieved a great step
forward in terms of Canada – China relations. Among them:
Approved Destination Status (ADS). According to CBC Newsworld, “A
decision by China to bestow approved destination status on Canada will
open the gates for tourists from that country, pumping millions of dollars
into Canada's tourism industry”. Canada has been working on having this
agreement signed with China since seven years ago. This agreement will
not only bring millions of dollars of tourism business to Canada, but also
closer ties between the Chinese and Canadian people.
It is also confirmed that China has agreed to loan two panda bears to
the Toronto Zoo during Harper’s visit. Authorities from Toronto Zoo are
in the process of planning to build a Panda House to accommodate the
The Real Estate Bubble in several big cities in China. With
the upcoming increase of tax on real estate sales, the price
of property has increased tremendously during the past two
months. Take Beijing for example, the price is now average
C$3000 per square meter within 4th Ring Road. That means
a 100 square meter condominium costs around C$300,000,
which has increased by 300% since 2003.
With price this high, there are long line‐ups. If you don’t
make decision right now, someone will.
Experts are starting to warn people of the effects of this Real estate bubble. But why people don’t take the
hint? In my opinion, people are looking for safer ways to invest their excessive income.
The fact is that there are more and more Chinese who has extra amount of disposable income. With the world
economic situation, they are looking for safe and rewarding ways of investments.
‐ Mutual funds have enjoyed tremendous growth since 2006, but the return is hardly safe.
‐ Since early this year, lot of Chinese invest in gold, but it is again a volatile option.
‐ There has been a fashion to invest in antiques, but very few are experts and the chances of buying a fake
copy with huge amount of money is not what people want.
So where to invest safely, and with a return which beats the inflation? Lot of people find that real estate is still
among the safest. One of my closest friends complained that she had missed the great opportunities in
investing in real estate when the price was not high, which was around 2003. Personally, I believe the Chinese
government will start to take measures to control the real estate prices.
The longest Cross‐Sea Bridge – Hong Kong, Macao, Zhuhai Bridge
started construction on December 15th. Also marking the 10th
anniversary of China’s exercise of sovereignty over Macao. Macao
went back to China on Dec.20th, 1999 after being governed by
Portugal for 420 years. The Hong Kong – Macao – Zhuhai Bridge
links Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai with over 35 kilometers on the
sea, and it’s expected to put into use by 2015. This Bridge will
further boost and enhance the economic development and
competiveness of Pearl River Delta, including Canton, Guangzhou,
Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and GuangXi Zhuang Autonomous region.
Chinese President’s visit to Canada in 2010. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment
of China – Canada bilateral relations. Chinese Embassy in Canada has confirmed that Chinese president Hu
Jingtao is scheduled to visit Canada in June 2010 to attend G20 summit in Toronto, and officially visit Canada.
Although there are still issues which are yet to be solved between the two countries, Stephen Harper’s recent
visit certainly moved a giant step towards strengthening the relationships. China side has granted enough
“face” to the Canadian Prime Minister during his visit. I am hopeful and confident that a closer relationship
and more cultural, economic, business exchanges will appear in the next year.
2009 has been a good year. Here is wishing you ALL the joys of the season. Wish you and your families a very
MERRY CHRISTMAS and a fulfilling, prosperous New Year of 2010!
Christine Gao, M.Ed, PCC
Cultural IQ, Fostering Connections, Embracing Diversity