Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee and Premier Greg Selinger depart on a ten-day trade mission to China today, where they will be joined by Manitoba business leaders and premiers from eight other provinces and territories.
“Manitoba’s exports to China have grown elevenfold in the last decade, from $79 million a decade ago to nearly a billion dollars today,” said the premier. “China’s importance as a trading partner becomes even more significant as we keep building and moving our economy through these uncertain times. For Manitoba businesses, this relationship means more opportunities and, for everyday Manitobans, it means even better job opportunities. ”
The mission will include stops in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and representation at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.
Manitoba’s business delegation includes representatives from CanEquip Consulting, the Composites Innovation Centre, HyLife, the Keystone Potato Producers Association, Myers Norris Penny, OmniTRAX Canada and the Churchill Gateway Development Corporation, Palliser Furniture, Parker Hannifin and Risun Connexions. Also represented on the mission will be CentrePort Canada, the country’s first foreign trade zone.
“With CentrePort, Manitoba is well-positioned to capitalize on increased Canadian trade with China in the coming years,” said the premier. “Building on our well-established transportation network of air, rail, truck and sea routes, CentrePort is key to our long-term strategy of establishing Manitoba as a North American hub of international trade.”
China is Manitoba’s second-largest trading partner and the second-largest economy in the world. Last year, Manitoba’s total trade with China was $1.8 billion. Exports to China totalled over $968 million, led by nickel, copper, canola seed, soya beans and pork. Imports from China totalled over $792 million, led by data processors, electrical components, telephone equipment, motor vehicle parts and hand tools.
The premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Yukon will also join the Council of the Federation mission to China. It will be the council’s second mission to China; the first took place in 2008.