Invest Ottawa drew almost $160 million in foreign investment to the city last year, according to the economic development agency’s co-chair.
OCRI president and CEO Bruce Lazenby. (Photo by Mark Holleron)
The organization, which celebrated its second anniversary on Thursday, created almost 1,000 more jobs in its second year than in its first, said Mayor Jim Watson, who is the co-chair of the organization’s board.
“Invest Ottawa, and the unique model that we envisioned, is more than living up to our expectations,” said Mr. Watson in a press release.
“From 2012, workshop attendees went from 4,807 to 6,744; portfolio companies went from 324 to 430; outgoing missions more than doubled—from 10 to 21; the number of jobs facilitated nearly tripled—from 485 to 1,405; and foreign direct investment skyrocketed—from $7.2 million to $165.5 million.”
The organization has also seen three companies “graduate” from its business incubator during the final three months of 2012, Bruce Lazenby, Invest Ottawa’s president and CEO said in his quarterly report.
Tweed, Sage Tea and Giatec Scientific had been working out of the Invest Ottawa offices but have now moved on to offices of their own.
Deals with China were a major theme of Mr. Lazenby’s report. He highlighted recent trade missions the city made to China, where Invest Ottawa signed on with the government-owned Zhongguancun Development Group to set up a incubation centre for Ottawa companies.
So far, four have joined the incubator program.
“This portal to China will give Ottawa companies a competitive advantage and we expect other companies will set up shop in the city in order to be part of the action,” said Mr. Lazenby in a statement.