On the final day of their joint trade mission to China, Premiers Ed Stelmach, Gordon Campbell and Brad Wall promoted investment opportunities found in Western Canada to 250 leading Chinese businessmen and government officials at a gala dinner in Beijing.
Premiers Campbell, Stelmach and Wall highlighted key industries found in Canada’s three westernmost provinces that are in high demand in China, including clean energy, natural resources and agriculture. The Premiers also discussed Western Canada’s geographical advantages, integrated transportation network and support for open sky policies.
“It is clear after five days in China that the New West has caught the attention of investors, businesses and government officials,” said Premier Stelmach. “I’m confident that new opportunities will emerge based on our successful time in China and I look forward to showcasing our region in Japan.”
“Western Canada is North America’s Pacific Gateway and it’s important that our three provinces are in China working together to promote a united front to investors,” said Premier Campbell. “In addition to resources and clean technology, Western Canada is the most direct and fastest shipping routes from China’s ports and we need to make the most of these advantages to strengthen our own economies.”
“Canada’s West has a tradition of creating new opportunities for ourselves and for others. This mission to strengthen our links with Asia carries on that tradition,” said Premier Wall. “The establishment of our Shanghai office is the first major step in exploring our common interests and determining how we can fulfill our mutual economic needs.”
While in China, the Premiers opened a joint trade and investment office in Shanghai, headlined a reception at the Shanghai 2010 Expo’s Canadian Pavilion, promoted Western Canada at a keynote luncheon in Shanghai, and met with provincial governors, vice governors and vice mayors. In addition, they held meetings with the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Canada’s ambassador to China as well as the China Investment Corporation and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
The joint-mission is the first since the three provinces formally signed the New West Partnership on April 30. The Premiers started their mission on May 14 and will now continue to Japan. They will return to Canada on May 22.
Canada’s three most western provinces combined for $19.8 billion in exports to Asia in 2009 – a 41 per cent increase from 2000. This included $6.6 billion in total exports to China and $5.8 billion to Japan in 2009.
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