At the time, the Western world was still reluctant and remote towards China. The building of the relationship between the two countries signaled willingness on the part of Canada to engage China and create mutual prosperity between the two countries.
From that point on, Chinese nationals slowly started to arrive in Canada and by the 1980s, Chinese businesses had begun to establish offices in Canada.
“I saw the changes that Toronto went through as Chinese immigrants arrived in Canada,” recalls Jimmy K. Sun, Founder and Senior Partner of Toronto-based law firm Sun & Partners. “Our firm essentially grew inline with this wave of Chinese settlers to Canada.”
Sun was born in Shanghai and after spending time in Hong Kong and Macao, moved to Canada in 1975. He established Sun & Partners in 1983 to serve clients who were facilitating business between Canada and China.
“The firm’s approach reflects my conviction that we can serve Asian clients and act as a bridge between Canada and China,” he says. “We have provided assistance to over 30listedcompanies from theChinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. When HSBC came to Canada in the 1980s, we were one of the first law firms to advise them on their commercial lending transactions.”
Sun was also appointed by the Bank of China, Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of East Asia and First Commercial Bank of Canada as an approved lawyer for commercial mortgage and lending advice.
Today, real estate and the natural resource sector represent the firm’s core practice areas.
“In addition to our business clients, we are also legal counsel to the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto and act as a special advisor on economic development to the city of Shijiazhuang in Hebei province,” says Sun. “I encourage Chinese investors to consider opportunities in Canada as it is a safe place in which to invest and has a highly-respected legal system.”
Fluent in Cantonese, Shanghai dialect, Mandarin and English, Sun understands the importance of recognizing that Chinese business customs are essential to successful cross-border business transactions.
“Chinese investors need good representation to guide them through the legal system and taxation structures in Canada,” says Sun. “By hiring a professionally-run firm and working with a competent legal team who understands cultural differences, Chinese companies can succeed in Canada.”
“I am very positive about the long-term relationship between China and Canada,” Sun concludes. “Canada has always been ‘pro-China’ since Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau started discussion with China in 1968. Canada will continue to play an important role in bridging China and the Western world.”