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, MLA Radisson
May 29, 2013

International Trade with the BRIC Countries

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba has huge potential to become a hub of Canada’s international trade. As the Special Envoy for International Trade, I know the importance of working together to build strong and lasting international trade relationships with emerging markets.

Since 2010, I have been working with the Premier to develop new opportunities to build bilateral trade with Brazil, Russia, India and China – the BRIC countries. We have witnessed success in working with these emerging economies – in the past two years, Manitoba’s exports to the BRIC countries have increased by over 55 per cent. Last year, our exports to the BRICs totaled $1.2 billion. I am particularly pleased that Manitoba has very close ties with India and we are working to make this relationship stronger. Over the past decade, overall trade with India has grown by 115 per cent, including a 60 per cent increase in our exports.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the house that the recent Mission to India led by Business Council of Manitoba CEO Jim Carr was supported by our Premier and other business organization executives such as Centreport Canada CEO Diane Gray, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce CEO Dave Angus, Yes Winnipeg Leader Bill Morrissey and our new World Trade Centre CEO Mariette Mulaire. Visiting a number of key provinces in India, I joined the Premier in meeting the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Honourable Narendra Modi, who is considered a dynamic leader throughout the country with his emphasis on economic and social development. Moreover, we toured the Tata facility that produces the internationally acclaimed NANO Car – one of the most economical automobiles produced in the world today. It was on this tour that Mr. Modi informed us that Gujarat welcomes a deeper trade relationship with Manitoba.

Manitoba can prosper from this growing trade relationship with India. Manitoba companies have expertise in specialized businesses such as food and grain storage as well as in engineering and power which will further strengthen our trade ties with emerging markets like India. In this vein, I would like to congratulate Manitoba firms like Westeel, Micro Tool & Machine Ltd., and Challenger Manufacturing Ltd. among others, which contribute to our growing relationship with India. I would also like to commend AmbuTech, a manufacturer from the St. Boniface Industrial Park in my constituency of Radisson, which made a generous donation of canes to the Blind People’s Association in Ahmedabad.

Mr. Speaker, our international trade mission to India was a great success. During our trip we were able to make new trade contacts and learn about India’s steadily growing economy and the opportunities that our growing relationship with this country offers to businesses and citizens in Manitoba.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.