The City of Langley has become the first municipality in Canada to invest a term deposit with the Bank of China.
“You always go for the big, and we think we landed a big,” Langley Mayor, Ted Schaffer, said. “At the end of the day we are looking to encourage investment from China in our local community.”
Schaffer said the one-year, flexible term would offer the City the same interest as a Canadian bank but would come with the added benefit of international exposure for the City.
“As a small community, you just have to work hard. We are trying to get exposure. We try and get regional exposure, but if we can get international exposure, that is just that much better for us.”
The deal began about two years ago but was solidified at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention.
“The meat of it took place at the Union of British Columbia Convention in 2015. That is when we really started to think seriously about it,” Mayor Schaffer said.
The event was where Mayor Schaffer met with Madam H.E. LIU Fei, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China. Following the meeting, the Mayor invited Madame Fei and others from the Bank of China to Langley.
“We are a good local government. We are a debt-free government. We have got a great school system. We’ve got parks and recreation,” Mayor Schaffer said.
“What we are looking for is something that is in the business avenue. We are looking for business ventures; we are looking for corporations to come invest. We are looking for new companies to build; there are possibilities that could be redone. It would be nice to take down a few single-story buildings and put some nice offices there and some nice retail or residential spaces. So we are looking at redevelopment and development.”
Mayor Schaffer said the business with the Bank of China was another way the City of Langley was touting it’s open-for-business reputation.
“The City of Langley has won the Open for Business awards from the B.C. small business roundtable for three years running. We are the only city that has won that Open for Business award three years in a row in B.C. What it [the term deposit] does is just another step to say that we are looking, we are encouraging, we want your business.”
According to the City, the Bank is a Schedule II member bank in Canada and is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Bank has been in Canada for over 20 years and has 650 locations outside of China.