NEWS RELEASE · 19th May 2010
Office of the Premier
On the final day of their joint trade mission to China, Premiers Gordon Campbell, Brad Wall and Ed Stelmach promoted investment opportunities found in Western Canada to 250 leading Chinese businessmen and government officials at a gala dinner in Beijing.
They discussed and highlighted industries and sectors 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.
"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 of British Columbia. "In addition to resources and clean technology, Western Canada is the most direct and fastest shipping route from China's ports and we need to make the most of these advantages to strengthen our own economies."
"It is clear after five days in China that the New West has caught the attention of investors, businesses and government officials," said Alberta Premier Ed 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."
While in China, the three 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 mayors, along with Canada's ambassador to China. In addition they held meetings with leading Chinese organizations including the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the China Investment Corporation, and the National Development Reform Commission.
"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 the Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan. "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."
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 leave for 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.