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Southern Alberta ready for increased Chinese investment

A consortium of southern Alberta economic development organizations representing more than 40 municipalities and hundreds of businesses is inviting Chinese business owners and investors to the region in the fall to develop trade relationships.
The four partner groups — Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance, Economic Development Lethbridge, Lethbridge County and SouthGrow Regional Initiative — are looking for local and regional partners to join them as they show and tell about the broad range of products and services that southern Alberta businesses and organizations have to offer.
“We are well positioned to attract new investment from China and grow our exports of goods and services to China,” SouthGrow Regional Initiative executive director Pete Lovering said. “We also expect more interest in southern Alberta from China-based businesses thanks to a recently-announced direct flight from Beijing to Calgary on Hainan Air, so it is becoming very convenient for people to do business with us.”
Canada is China’s second-largest trading partner, with nearly $80-billion in trade flowing back and forth between the two countries, and nearly $60-billion in investment to date.
Canada is also among the top destinations for investors in a variety of business ventures that include agribusiness, tourism, transportation and technology.
Visits to the region have increased significantly over the past two years because southern Alberta is home to a diverse range of businesses, industries and organizations that fit these categories and also exemplify unique and high-quality Canadian-made products or services of interest to investors and government delegations.
Strategically selected and by invitation only, the Chinese investors and companies — primarily from the Anyang region in Henan province — will be from the sectors of agriculture, agri-food, renewable energy technologies, clean-technologies and tourism and chosen based on best-fit with the region’s strengths and opportunities.
Their visit is scheduled for October.
“This is an excellent opportunity to talk directly with buyers and suppliers who are looking to not only buy products, but to establish business investment relationships that are beneficial to both parties,” Lovering said.
A key element of this project is an investment guide package that will profile and promote the opportunities available in the Lethbridge region to visitors.
The English and Chinese package, being produced by Economic Development Lethbridge on behalf of the group, will be available on-line, in print and distributed to a number of international trade offices in Canada and China.
Interested participants have the opportunity to list their investment-ready project, opportunity, business, product or service in the material and also become part of the trade delegation meetings and site visits. Additional information is attached.
The project will include opportunities to seek investment into new tourism developments, such as specialty resorts and campgrounds.
“Becoming more connected to the China market is of particular importance to our rural regions,” Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance executive director Bev Thornton said. “Our wide open spaces, breathtaking landscapes and authentic prairie and rocky mountain experiences offer the opportunity for people to connect with nature in a very personal way.”
The visitors are expected to be in southern Alberta for a week, and in addition to visiting business-focused sites will be able to experience the hospitality that has made the region famous world-wide.

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