News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 7, 2008

PREMIER'S ECONOMIC MISSION TO CHINA WRAPS UP


Manitoba's New Inland Port, Business, Education Agreements Among Highlights

Two Manitoba companies joined Premier Gary Doer in Shanghai yesterday to announce business deals with Chinese companies including one for energy-efficient windows and doors for new homes.
 
Loewen Windows of Steinbach will be providing windows and doors for a high-end housing project in the Shanghai region. Parker Hannifin, which recently acquired Vansco, will be supplying Lonking Holdings’ construction machinery with electronic controls that are manufactured at the company’s Winnipeg facility.
 
“Manitoba businesses are known for producing high-quality products and China is in need of such products in order to meet the challenges and demands of its continued economic growth,” Doer said. “I want to congratulate both companies on their success in breaking into significant new markets.”
 
The Canadian Leaders’ Mission: China 2008 included Premier Dalton McGuinty of Ontario, Premier Shawn Graham of New Brunswick, Premier Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island as well as former premier Pierre Marc Johnson of Quebec. Doer left the mission early to travel back to Manitoba for the funeral of long-time friend, colleague and cabinet minister Oscar Lathlin.
 
The mission also included more than 110 representatives from industry, education and other Canadian organizations including 30 from Manitoba.
 
Expanding trade into new markets such as Asia and Europe was one of the outcomes of the Oct. 20 premiers’ meeting on the economy. Manitoba’s trade with China has risen more than five times in the past five years. Manitoba’s exports have jumped 586 per cent, rising to $545.9 million in 2007 from $79.5 million in 2002. 
 
Promoting Manitoba’s new inland port, CentrePort Canada, to Chinese companies and investors was a key focus of the Manitoba delegation’s business mission to China.
 
“CentrePort Canada is open for business and has much to offer Chinese companies that are looking for new, more affordable and efficient ways to distribute their products,” Doer said. “Manitoba is located in the heart of North America and we offer many competitive advantages. It is great to be here with Manitoba business leaders who share our vision for building CentrePort Canada.”
  
The premier and Manitoba business leaders held a special session in Beijing with Chinese investors and companies whose business interests are in the areas of logistics, transportation and manufacturing. 
 
Several leaders who helped create CentrePort Canada participated in the session including Jim Carr of the Manitoba Business Council, Graham Starmer of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, Dave Angus of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and Chris Lorenc of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association. Don Streuber of Bison Transport, Erla Glesby of Westco and Michael Rodyniuk of Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) also took part in the presentation.
 
“We have a tremendous story to tell,” said Rodyniuk, chief operating officer and senior vice-president of WAA. “Flying through Winnipeg is much more cost effective than flying deep into the United States. We can cycle aircraft faster and have the best established dedicated cargo capacity in the country. This, connected to Manitoba’s incredible road and rail infrastructure, means major U.S. and Canadian cities are easily accessed from here. We are a true multi-modal international gateway to North America.”
 
The Manitoba delegation also promoted the inland port to officials from the Province of Henan and signed several agreements aimed at increasing economic development and co-operation between Manitoba and Henan.  
 
Doer and Henan Gov. Guo Gengmao signed the Henan/Manitoba Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Enhanced Co-operation and Economic Development. The agreement will support the development of CentrePort Canada and includes provisions to increase strategic co-operation and sister airport relations between WAA and Zhengzhou Airport.
 
In addition, the Manitoba and Winnipeg chambers of commerce, and the Henan Provincial Bureau of Commerce signed an agreement for enhanced co-operation on business, trade and entrepreneur development.
 
“It is extremely important that we take a hands-on approach to promoting Manitoba as a great place to invest and do business,” said Starmer, president and CEO of the Manitoba chambers. “The mission has introduced local businesses to new opportunities in China, which continues to have one of the world's fastest growing economies.”
 
While in Beijing, Canadian premiers also met with Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Yang Jiechi, held a round table with Chinese governors including representatives of the provinces of Shangdong, Hebei, Henan and Hunan, and met with Cheng Siwei, retired vice-chair of the National People’s Congress. They also attended the China Leaders Business Forum held by the Canada China Business Council.
 
In Chongqing, the premiers met with Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai and toured the inland port. In Shanghai, premiers met with Shanghai party secretary Yu Zhensheng.
 
Manitoba’s colleges and universities also joined Doer to announce the signing of five agreements aimed at increasing international education connections between the province and China, which sends more students to Manitoba than any other country.
 
International education is an important part of Manitoba’s economy and education system, with students from China and Hong Kong comprising nearly 32 per cent of Manitoba’s international student body in 2006-07, up from six per cent in 2001-02. They contributed $23.5 million to Manitoba’s economy through academic and related spending.
 
Highlights of the post-secondary education agreements signed in China include:
·         expanding the partnership between Red River College and Shenyang Institute of Engineering to include two new combined diploma programs in power-plant engineering and tourism in addition to electrical engineering,
·         renewing an agreement between the University of Manitoba and Beijing’s China Women’s University to continue providing a social-work intervention program for rural women in China,
·         reaching a new agreement between the University of Winnipeg and Concord College on a scholarship program for Chinese students attending the U of W,
·         signing a transfer agreement between the University of Winnipeg and TAIE International Institute to allow graduates admittance to the U of W, and
·         signing an agreement between the University of Winnipeg and Jiangsu Province International Education to co-operate in areas such as research, faculty and staff exchange, and short-term academic programs.
 
At the start of the mission, Doer presented Dr. Stan Cheung with the Order of the Buffalo Hunt in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the province of Manitoba.
 
Cheung is a prominent businessman, philanthropist and Manitoba’s long-time honorary consul in Hong Kong, regularly advising Manitobans on industry and education matters both in Hong Kong and mainland China. He is also a distinguished graduate of the University of Manitoba.
 
In recognition of Cheung’s generous contributions to the U of M over many years, the university named its animal science research unit the T.K. Cheung Centre for Animal Science Research at a ceremony in 2006. Cheung helped build the facility and provided bursary and graduate student assistance, library support, equipment funding as well as donations to other initiatives.
 
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