Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 28, 2008

Canadian Premiers To Lead Business Mission To China

A Canadian premiers’ mission to China will promote Canada – and Manitoba – as a key location for new investment, as well as introduce local businesses to new opportunities in China which continues to have one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Premier Gary Doer said today.
Doer is one of four Canadian premiers participating in the Council of the Federation’s Canadian Leaders’ Mission:  China 2008, which runs Nov. 1 to 7.  More than 110 representatives from industry, education and other Canadian organizations are expected to join the mission including 30 from Manitoba.
“Manitoba has a strong, diverse economy with a lot to offer investors, and Manitoba companies have a lot to offer China as it grows,” Doer said. “It is important that we continue to work together to diversify and increase the international markets with which we do business. This approach is the only way to build our province in a time of global economic uncertainty.”
“The Business Council of Manitoba is pleased to join Premier Doer and the other premiers on this important mission to China,” said Jim Carr, council president and CEO. “We know that establishing personal relationships with Chinese business leaders is essential if we are to take full advantage of the impressive trade opportunities waiting to be developed. The partnership between the premiers and business leaders this mission represents is timely and welcome.”
Manitoba’s trade with China has risen significantly in the past five years. Since 2002, Manitoba’s exports jumped 586 per cent, rising from $79.5 million to $545.9 million in 2007. This is a reflection of the ever-increasing economic importance of China, which despite the current global situation is continuing to experience growth of about nine per cent, said Doer.
The Canadian Leaders’ Mission:  China 2008 includes the premiers of Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. Expanding trade into new markets such as Asia and Europe was one of the outcomes of last week’s premiers’ meeting on the economy. Premiers also agreed to continue eliminating internal trade barriers.
One focus of the mission will be selling the province’s new inland port, CentrePort Canada, to Chinese businesses and investors. 
Several Manitoba business leaders who helped create CentrePort Canada are participating including Carr, Barry Rempel of the Winnipeg Airports Authority, 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.
“The inland port initiative, led by the premier in partnership with the private sector, is in my opinion the single most important economic opportunity we have witnessed in Manitoba for decades,” said Lorenc, who is also chair of the Mayor’s Trade Council.
“It is important for Manitoba to properly position itself internationally and we accomplish this with global presence, patience and partnerships. We lay the important groundwork by participating in door-opening trade missions such as the one we are about to embark upon. The time and effort spent is worthy because it is an investment in our province's economic growth and future.”
“Canada must be more aggressive in the Chinese market and a strong Manitoba presence is critical,” added Angus. “With the emergence of our inland port, we now have a compelling case for investment for a market that has resources to invest. The movement of goods from China to and throughout North America makes CentrePort Canada a viable solution for distribution challenges that we will be discussing. The timing of this mission could not be more opportune.”
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