An accomplished mission

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and councillors Linda Hepner

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, four city councillors and 32 business executives returned home earlier this week from an 11-day trade mission to India, after stops in seven cities including Mumbai, New Delhi, Janlandhar, and Amristar.While in Amritsar, Watts and councillors Linda Hepner, Barinder Rasode and Tom Gill visited the Harmandar Sahib, (Golden Temple), the holiest Sikh temple.The tour took in seven cities, resulted in four Memorandums of Understanding, and a number of deals that were either completed or moved to a “final incubation stage” a Feb. 22 City of Surrey press release says.Watts led a mission of delegates from 24 companies in clean energy, education, wood and manufacturing, film and entertainment, life sciences, communications technology and business and finance sectors.Citing Surrey’s deep ties to India, Watts said it was important for her to experience the country in order to understand those ties firsthand, calling the tour a success. “This was a mission about achieving economic success and jobs for Surrey, and fostering relationships between our companies and their appropriate business matches in India, and I’m pleased to say that was achieved,” she said.Surrey signed an MOU with the City of Jalandhar to work on sustainability initiatives and emissions reductions. Several Surrey-based companies are exploring new business opportunities and partnerships in India as a result of connections made during the trip.BioLytical Laboratories came back armed with a deal with a network of eight hospitals in India. The company will provide a 60-second blood test for diagnosing HIV. SFU came home with agreements that could lead to a joint PhD program, while Onux Nexus worked out what it hopes will be several deals and create an endowment for students in a school in Punjab.– with files from Kevin Diakiw, Black Press