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International delegates tour Kingston’s business and tech sectors

The delegation visited Octane and learned about personalized medicine and gene therapy. Photo via Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

A diplomatic delegation of 12 European and Asian countries visited Kingston earlier this month. Hosted by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (Kingston EcDev), the visit was part of the corporation’s initiatives to promote investment attraction and collaboration to support bilateral trade and foreign direct investment in Kingston and the region.

According to a release from Kingston EcDev, the visit aligns with Kingston’s recent recognition by Site Selection Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 20 Cities to Invest in. The international investment promotion initiatives undertaken by Kingston EcDev throughout the years reportedly positioned the city as a top location when it comes to site selection, not only in North America, but also globally.

Frulact invested more than $70M in Kingston with a significant expansion in 2021, and Canada Royal Milk invested over $300M in their facility. Both companies are “proof of the value proposition and support Kingston offers to expanding companies,” EcDev stated.

In March, Li-Cycle announced that it is expanding in Kingston with a Centre of Excellence and most recently Umicore’s announcement of its $1.5B investment in EV battery material will see the first industrial-scale manufacturing plant of its kind in North America in Loyalist Township.

“It was a great privilege to host such esteemed guests representing twelve countries. Kingston is ready and open for business and we look forward to working with businesses looking to expand into Kingston,” said Donna Gillespie, CEO of Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

During their two-day visit, Kingston EcDev said that the delegation met with key stakeholders from Kingston’s municipal, academic and industrial sectors, each sharing their experience and aspirations for the city. The delegation met with Kingston’s Mayor Paterson who shared his vision for the city’s growth and for it becoming a city of the future.

The tour learned about Li-Cycle’s first battery recycling facility. Photo via Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

The delegation also experienced firsthand the birthplace and stories behind global industry leaders such as Li-Cycle which had its technology developed and commercialized, and its first battery recycling facility in Kingston, and Octane whose founders are paving the way for personalized medicine and cell and gene therapy in Kingston and exporting it to the world, EcDev stated.

“We know that Kingston is a great place for businesses to grow and thrive, and it was great to share Kingston’s successes in this area with countries from around the world,” said Mayor Paterson. “As a forward-thinking and innovative city, we want to attract businesses from the region and from around the world and this was a great opportunity to demonstrate all the ways Kingston is a perfect place for investment.”

The delegation visited Queen’s Cardiopulmonary Unit (QCPU) and learned about the Carbon to Metal Coating Institute which recently received $24M in funding from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund to advance this research. Their novel approach to protecting metal surfaces relies on a molecular primer capable of slowing or preventing oxidation and, degradation of metals, according to the release.

A stop at Queen’s University was also on the schedule. Photo via Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

Kingston EcDev said that feedback from the delegation’s visit to Kingston was very positive:

  • “It was an eye-opening visit. The tour serves as a stepping stone for our future collaboration in many important sectors to support Malaysian and Canadian companies grow and prosper in both regions,” said Her Excellency Anizan Siti Hajjar Adnin, the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Canada.
  • “With Umicore’s recent announcement to invest in the Kingston area, Belgian’s economic footprint will be expanding significantly. We look forward to exploring ways to further promote bilateral trade and investment in the area,” said Maxime Ramon, Counselor, Embassy of Belgium in Canada.
  • “It was a very interesting event and definitely was an eye-opener to the opportunities Kingston offers to existing or new businesses,” said Goetz Milcke, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Inc.
  • “Now we are more familiar with Kingston’s initiatives to promote investment internationally as well as some examples of successful projects in sustainable manufacturing and health innovation sectors,” said a representative from Consulate General of Japan in Toronto.

According to Kingston EcDev, Kingston remains a gateway for global companies seeking successful expansion in Canada and North America. To learn more about investing in Kingston visit investkingston.ca

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