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WESTERN PROVINCES OPEN JOINT TRADE AND INVESTMENT OFFICE IN SHANGHAI

Released on May 17, 2010

The Premiers of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan today opened the new Shanghai-based Western Canada Trade and Investment Office, advancing Western Canada's interests and bolstering economic ties in China.

The Western Canada Trade and Investment Office will promote Western Canada's advanced industries including green technology, natural resources, agri-food and agriculture. It will also represent the three provinces in a number of other priority sectors, including education, tourism and investment attraction. Shanghai was selected, as it is China's trade and financial hub, the world's second busiest port and has a population of more than 20 million people.

"Alberta has been at the forefront of Canada-China relations since the 1960s and we continue to seek new alliances in the region," Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach said. "The Shanghai office gives us an expanded presence as well as an ability to better serve our network of business partners and investors in this crucial market."

The joint office is part of the New West Partnership's commitment to collaborate on cost-effective international initiatives, including sharing resources in international markets. The co-operative marketing model of the Shanghai office will allow the three western provinces to better position the West as the hub of economic activity on this side of the Pacific. Working together, the provinces will be more effective in advancing joint business interests, exchanging market intelligence and increasing business competitiveness.

"Saskatchewan, and the West, has what the world wants and needs," Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said. "The economies of the New West Partnership are among the most robust and diversified you will find anywhere. We are making it as easy as possible for investors to do business in the West, and to pursue opportunities which only exist here."

"British Columbia is pleased to partner with Saskatchewan and Alberta in promoting Western Canada's advantages to Chinese investors and partners," British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell said. "British Columbia already operates three of its own trade and investment offices in China and the new Shanghai office will help build on our position as Canada's Pacific Gateway."

The Premiers are on a joint mission to China and Japan, to promote trade and investment opportunities along with the West's geographic and infrastructure advantages, including the multi-modal Pacific Gateway and Corridor transportation system. The three Premiers are also promoting open skies agreements and open trade with the Asia Pacific region.

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For more information, contact:

Rebeca Rogoschewsky
Executive Council
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0980

Cam Hantiuk
Alberta Office of the Premier
Edmonton
Phone: 780-422-4924

Bridgitte Anderson
BC Office of the Premier
Victoria, BC
Phone: 604-307-7177

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