Seizing Business and Career Opportunities in the Asian Century

Date:                     Saturday, June 22, 2013 (2:15-5:00 p.m. PDT)

Location:             Oceanview Suite 7-8, Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, Vancouver, BC (Map)

Speakers:            Rob Simmons
Chief Representative – Asia, Export Development Canada
Elvis Picardo
VP of Research & Portfolio Manager, Global Securities Corporation
Paul Gibbons
Consultant, Western Management Consultants


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As the world’s fastest growing economic region, Asia has become a key destination for Western business professionals seeking high-quality, well-compensated employment opportunities. Asia’s economies are projected to expand from $20.8 trillion to $30.3 trillion in the years between 2011 and 2016—twice the size of the American economy, according to International Monetary Fund projections. Recognizing this trend, multinational corporations have made Asia their port of call, setting up research hubs, manufacturing facilities and business units to capitalize on growth opportunities.


“Seizing Business and Career Opportunities in the Asian Century” will explore the major economic and social trends shaping the region today, such as the rise of the middle class and the emergence of world-class academic institutions producing the talent and thought leadership to fuel future growth. Topics of discussion include:

•      Career Prospects in Asia & with Asia

•      Introduction of economic and industry trends in Asia

•      Some important cultural differences of doing business in Asia

•      Importance of network and relationships

•      What are the opportunities available for Canadians in Asia?



About The Speakers:


Robert Simmons
Chief Representative, Asia, Export Development Canada (EDC)

Robert Simmons has extensive experience in trade development and export finance in Asia.  Since joining Export Development Canada (EDC) in early 1997, he has managed EDC business development activities for a number of key Asian markets. He was EDC Chief Representative- South East Asia based in Singapore from 2004 to early 2013 and has recently been appointed  to the position of Chief Representative – Asia based in Vancouver . Before joining EDC, Mr. Simmons was Director, Asia Pacific Trade and Investment with Alberta Economic Development, and from 1990 to 1993, he was the Alberta Trade Representative working out of Hong Kong.



Elvis Picardo
VP of Research & Portfolio Manager, Global Securities Corporation

Elvis Picardo is Vice President-Research and a portfolio manager at Global Securities in Vancouver. He has more than thirteen years of experience as an analyst and strategist, with numerous successful stock recommendations and investment strategies to his credit over this period. He brings a global perspective to investment research and portfolio management, obtained through more than two decades of international capital markets experience in Canada, India and Hong Kong. His experience spans a wide range of asset classes – equities, options, fixed income and currencies. Elvis is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and also holds the Certified Investment Manager designation. He has a graduate degree in Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Management Studies.

He is a frequent contributor to leading financial publications, is regularly quoted in the financial media, and has appeared on various media outlets including BNN to discuss markets and stocks.



Paul Gibbons
Consultant, Western Management Consultants

Paul Gibbons offers over 15 years of proven achievement in executive level talent acquisition across North America and internationally. He is a driving force in assisting corporate clients to engage and recruit key personnel in a variety of industries, markets and functional disciplines − with a particular focus on financial, insurance and private equity engineering positions. Paul is recognized as a dedicated, well connected and informed executive recruiter who thrives on the challenge of working with entrepreneurs and senior executives to place top performers in critical leadership roles.

Paul brings a wealth of resources, knowledge and tools to the senior level recruitment process. He believes that corporate success is directly related to the talent of its people, and as president of the Hong Kong Canada Business Association, Paul provides global organizations with access to North American expertise. He is a sought after voice in the North American employment marketplace, and his commentary has appeared in the Globe & Mail, The National Post, BC Business and Business in Vancouver.

Prior to joining Western Management Consultants, Paul was the Managing Director of a leading full-service recruitment firm in Vancouver, BC. He started his career working in the Financial Services Industry with a leading Canadian insurance company and his educational background includes a degree in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.