News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 13, 2009

MANITOBA TRADE WITH CHINA, U.S. UP 11 PER CENT IN 2008: SWAN



Manitoba’s total trade with China and the United States continued to increase in 2008, rising by 11 per cent to $27.9 billion from $25.1 billion in 2007, Competitiveness, Training and Trade Minister Andrew Swan said today.
 
“Increasing our trade with key markets has been a priority and our international trade has grown steadily,” Swan said. “In these challenging times, it is especially important to keep Manitoba moving forward. We must continue to pursue business and trade opportunities in new and emerging markets. This diversity is one way to help ensure that our economy remains stable in tough times.”
 
“It is extremely important that we continue to promote our province and the business and investment opportunities that we have to offer. We are building Manitoba through exciting new initiatives such as CentrePort Canada, our inland port, and in times of economic uncertainty, we need to work together with renewed focus and determination,” said Chris Lorenc, president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and board member of CentrePort Canada Inc. 
 
“Co-operative trade missions like the recent mission to China helps open doors to new opportunities and are an important part of continuing our growth and ensuring a prosperous future.”
 
Lorenc was a member of the Manitoba delegation that joined the recent trade mission to China led by premiers Gary Doer, Dalton McGuinty of Ontario, Shawn Graham of New Brunswick, Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island and former Quebec premier Pierre Marc Johnson.
 
“The aggressive pursuit of trade and investment with the Chinese market has never been more important particularly in these tough economic times,” said Dave Angus, president and CEO, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “As business with the U.S. is pressured, trade diversification will be the strategy of choice for Manitoba exporters.  The mission not only served to create relationships that are ready to be leveraged, but it also identified the many tremendous opportunities that await Manitoba business in the world’s fastest growing economy.  The time is now for us to pursue these opportunities.”
  
Overall, Manitoba’s two-way trade has grown by 42 per cent over the past four years to $28 billion in 2008 from $19.8 billion in 2004. During that time, total trade with the United States grew by 39 per cent to $21.3 billion in 2008 from $15.4 billion in 2004. Trade with China grew by 63 per cent to $1.3 billion in 2008 from $804 million in 2004.
 
Increasing trade in markets such as Asia and Europe was one of the outcomes of last fall’s premiers’ meeting on the economy. The premiers’ trade mission to China, Canadian Leaders’ Mission: China 2008, took place Nov. 1 to 7 and included more than 110 participants from industry, education and other Canadian organizations.
 
The total cost of the China mission to government was $67,332 including $39,428 for the Canada-China Business Council, which partnered with the Council of the Federation on the mission, to provide support, promotions and programming for business delegates, $15,710 for transportation, $6,660 for accommodations, $1,993 for meals, $280 for translation and $102 for hospitality. Members of the business delegation paid their own travel costs.  Mission costs were comparable to previous missions to India in 2006 and to Mexico in 1998.
 
The Manitoba delegation to China was one of the province’s largest trade delegations, second only to the one to India in 2006. In total, the China mission included 25 delegates from private industry, education and other Manitoba organizations plus the premier, two government staff members and two staff people to support the business delegation.
 
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