Family from China opens P.E.I. branch of their company

Dave Stewart
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Kathy Liu and her husband, Paul Shen, moved to P.E.I. in August 2015 to raise a family and expand their manufacturing business, CNPC Powder. With the help of the P.E.I. Connectors program, they've set up shop at the West Royalty Industrial Park. CNPC Powder has already inked a contract with 3M and talks are ongoing with Dow Corning.

Owner reaches out to P.E.I. Connectors for help

Kathy Liu and her family came to P.E.I. in August 2015 looking to raise a family and continue doing business.

Coming from China, she felt overwhelmed at the idea of establishing a branch of her manufacturing company, CNPC Powder.

Registering a company, finding employees and learning new tax and financial regulations were just some of the challenges Liu says she faced.

So, she reached out to P.E.I. Connectors for help. The program is delivered through the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce as a way to help newcomers seeking to become entrepreneurs. Staff offer a variety of advisory, networking and research-based services.

"Actually, my family came to P.E.I. on the PNP program,'' Liu told The Guardian, referring to the Provincial Nominee Program established in 2001.

"I really loved P.E.I. We knew there was a PNP program to help establish a company here . . . we wanted to expand to a new market . . . and it's quite suitable for our family.''

Armed with advice from the Connectors program, Liu established the first North American branch of CNPC Powder in the West Royalty Industrial Park in Charlottetown. The company engages in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of metal powders. Products include iron powders, copper powders, nickel powder, tin powder and more.

These products are normally used in powder metallurgy, 3D printing, welding, diamond tools, magnets, batteries, fuel cells and electronics.

Liu said the Island was a good fit for her business because of the existence of the aerospace industry, a primary client base for CNPC Powder. In just six months, the company gained both local clients and export opportunities, including a contract with 3M. Talks are also ongoing with Dow Corning, an American company that supplies silicones and silicones solutions, products, technology and services.

Not only does the aerospace industry serve as potential clients, Liu points to skilled graduates coming out of UPEI as well as immigrants moving here from other countries.

The Connectors program has been successful and continues to evolve and expand. Over the past year, clients set up more than 60 businesses, bringing the total number of businesses established by clients to more than 200 since it began in 2011.

P.E.I. Connectors also offers more programming than ever before, with close to 40 events, including workshops, information sessions, networking events and bus tours.

Shawn Murphy, chairman of the advisory board for P.E.I. Connectors, says it helps immigrants integrate into the local economy and community, increasing the chance they will stick around.

"Newcomers benefit from having support as they build their businesses and contacts, and the whole province benefits from the contributions these entrepreneurs make to our businesses, economy and culture,'' Murphy said.

The P.E.I. Connectors program receives funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and a number of sponsors.

Organizations: Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, North American, Dow Corning Department of Economic Development and Tourism

Geographic location: China, West Royalty Industrial Park, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • David McNally
    March 30, 2016 - 11:46

    Congratulations are in order for securing a contract with 3M and negotiating with DOW, those are not easy feats to accomplish no matter who you may be connected to. Regardless of the PNP involvement, this is a good news story for the business community on PEI, and may help attract further investments and opportunities for other local business in time. The strategy this company employed by setting up a satellite branch on PEI while opening markets for manufacturers off island is sound. I dont disagree that there is limited potential on PEI for success, but if you look at the big picture and sell your product off island as an export, then the doors open up much wider. Depends on where your focus is and how solid of a strategy you can put forth. Sounds to me like these people have a good product and strategy. I look forward to hearing more about their success and certainly trust this will also provide a showcase for other islanders, both born and raised and those who chose to come here for whatever reason, that you can make it on PEI. All the best!

  • Erin Mullen
    March 30, 2016 - 11:26

    Way to go Kathy and Paul! Thank you for staying on the Island and opening this business. I know I am a year late, but welcome to Canada! And 3M is a big deal. Congrats!

  • Cromwell
    March 29, 2016 - 22:08

    According to Shawn Murphy, an old-time Liberal hack who was given a patronage appointment to PEI Connectors programme, he cites since 2011, 200 businesses has been established. My questions to Mr. Murphy are (a) how many Islanders (not PNP or TFW) do/did these businesses employ (b) given that on PEI, a new business has a 50%likelihood of failing after 2 years, so how many of these new Chinese-driven businesses are still operating, how many of these business actually taxes (it is reported that on PEI, less than 35% of newcomer businesses pay any taxes (d) are non-newcomer/PNP Canadian businesses entitled to all of the benefits identified by Mr. Murphy, or as these only for the privileged 'newcomers'. Finally. Mr. Murphy, over the course of the PNP programme, can you provide substantive details on the success of the programme, and the sustained benefits that have been/will be available to Islanders?When challenged with sumi;ar questions, Mr. MacLauchlan looked totally bemused and was unable to respond, but perhaps you are better equipped with the appropriate responses. Not holding my breath!

  • John
    March 27, 2016 - 17:15

    @mrnobody The article did not WANT to mention that 'little detail'. What exactly IS their business? These people probably know more about setting up in business than the whole Chamber of Commerce gang put together. I sure hope the taxpayers of PEI will get the opportunity to give them tax relief. After all only $ 6.9 given out so far is peanuts in the MacLaughlan scheme of things. Fishy, fishy , ny bets on the chances we will be fooled again? us being chnaces

  • mrnobody
    March 27, 2016 - 10:33

    This article fails to mention that this company is part of the China National Petroleum Corporation, making these people part of the communist elite.

  • no thanks
    March 26, 2016 - 05:56

    These pnp'ers soon realize there is no opportunity on this little island Most of the pnp'ers have moved on as soon as they realized they can't make good money here ----they are not interested in helping this poverty stricken island --- AND WE ARE PAYING TO HELP THEM !!!!!!!!!!!

  • reality check
    March 25, 2016 - 19:33

    This advise is not free. The program is funded by the Province, and provide several individuals with a handsome salary, ----so the taxpayers ARE involved. We do no know what other programs are offered, noting that they are set up in the government owned industrial park. Also noting that this is a 'branch', and not a total commitment to PEI or Canada, but a nice place to branch out and to bring up the kids- free education and health care. That is not to say that there may not be some benefits to PEI, but I would be cautious to not count the chickens before they are hatched.

  • Phil
    March 25, 2016 - 18:11

    Both you and Cromwell should stick to what you know. It should be very quiet form now on. These are exactly the people we want using programs like this. Young educated talented and fully invested in the community creating business and jobs. Money from Islanders pfft. They are creating wealth. There is none of your money at risk.

    • don
      March 26, 2016 - 19:08

      well you better rethink your posting how many non islanders have walked away with millions of our money. like the fish plant down east, humburg, i think you need to find out how many of our money has the liberals wrote off the books from loans they lost??????????. why do you not go and see if the liberals will donate a few millions to you..

    • Cromwell
      March 27, 2016 - 19:29

      Perhaps you could advise us as to how many jobs for Islanders (not fellow PNP'ers) this 'branch' will employ. After all, Mr. Maclauchlan has stated that he fully expects PNP newcomers to provide employment opportunities for Islanders. If a similar effort was put forth to attract Canadian businesses to PEI, then we Islanders would be better off.

  • don
    March 25, 2016 - 13:05

    they have there own company in china then why are they getting money from islanders? can they not use there own money??

    • Cromwell
      March 25, 2016 - 14:33

      Fully agree. The whole concept of the properly vilified PNP is that the Chinese migrants are expected to entirely fund a company with their own money.

    • Linda
      March 25, 2016 - 17:47

      Nowhere in the article does it say that they got money. They got advice on what steps they needed to complete to set up their company. They did use their own money. In fact they paid money by using the PNP program. The new PNP program requires newcomers to significantly financially contribute to establishing or purchasing a company. This is what they did.

    • don
      March 26, 2016 - 19:03

      linda they got help from the pnp same as her she said "We knew there was a PNP program to help establish a company here . . . we wanted to expand to a new market . . . and it's quite suitable for our family.'' they never use much of there money when they know the government will donate money to them................