Alberta announces major expansion of trade offices

CALGARY — The Alberta government is expanding or opening trade offices on three continents to open up markets and reduce dependence on markets in the United States.

CALGARY — The Alberta government is expanding or opening trade offices on three continents to open up markets and reduce dependence on markets in the United States.

“We can no longer rely primarily on one customer for our resources, goods and services (exports),” Cal Dallas, the international and intergovernmental relations minister, announced at the University of Calgary on Friday.

“Eighty-six per cent of those resources went to one customer, the U.S.”

Dallas and Premier Alison Redford announced new foreign trade offices in California, Chicago, Brazil, Singapore and India.

It will also expand the current trade office in Beijing, co-locate its Shanghai office with the federal government, and establish a new office in the southern region of the country.

There is already an office in Hong Kong.

The offices, which will bring the total to 16, are to open over the next two years.

Alberta already has trade offices in London, Mexico City, Taipei, Tokyo, Munich, Washington, D.C., and Seoul.

Dallas said his department is reallocating some resources so that the new offices will only add $1.3 million a year to the current annual foreign office budget of $10.5 million.

Redford said the payoff will be long term.

“Markets do not get built overnight,” she said.

“You build trust, you build relationships, and you ensure that the products that you are exporting are products that are actually going to be acceptable to the market.

“Not doing this would be quite disadvantageous to the province.”

The opposition NDP has said such offices are poor value for money in a province that is already cutting funding to social programs and post-secondary education.

They call the trade offices little more than patronage rewards for supporters of Redford’s Progressive Conservative party.

Dallas has said there will be an open competition to select the representatives.

Dallas said the offices will have different mandates.

The California office, expected to be located around San Francisco, will build up links with the high-tech and computer industries around Silicon Valley.

Singapore, said Dallas, is a critical port for oil refining and a hub for Asian commerce.

He said there are broad opportunities in agriculture, energy and education through the office in New Delhi.

He called Chicago a key U.S. transportation hub, and said the Brazil office will take advantage of South American energy and agriculture growth.

In 2012, Alberta exported $95 billion worth of goods to 187 countries, accounting for more than one-third of the province’s GDP.

The government says in 2012, more than 640 Alberta companies worked through the province to broaden trade and investment abroad.

Just Posted

Alberta has made a more detailed framework for those looking to acquire an exemption to the mandatory indoor mask bylaw. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Alberta changes requirements for mask exemptions

Masks wearing has been recommended for almost a year and provincially mandated… Continue reading

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

RCMP file photo (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)
RCMP investigating shooting near Maskwacis

Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP are seeking public assistance after a shooting has… Continue reading

Rode
Smith among impressive group of RDC soccer Queens recruits

There have been a number of cases where younger girls have developed… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools is projecting a $4-million budget deficit for 2021-22 school year. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools prepares $124-million budget

$1 million COVID recovery plan to assist students

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

The Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is shown in Calgary, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The final three games of Canada's Secret Cup women's hockey tournament will be played in Calgary's NHL arena.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

FILE - In this Thursday, July 18, 2019 file photo, Ron Francis talks to reporters in Seattle after he was introduced as the first general manager for Seattle's yet-to-be-named NHL hockey expansion team. Four years since George McPhee was a “puppet master” of the NHL leading up to the Vegas expansion draft, general managers approached this trade deadline with Seattle’s upcoming addition to the league in mind. While Kraken GM Ron Francis prepares – and maybe made a handshake deal or two already like McPhee did – Seattle was on his colleagues’ minds.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney attends a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Simmering internal discontent in his United Conservative caucus has boiled over into an open challenge to his leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (13) celebrates in the outfield at the end of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Bichette, Blue Jays rally again to beat Braves 8-4

Bichette, Blue Jays rally again to beat Braves 8-4

FILE - Jordan Spieth waits his turn to putt during the third round of the Valero Texas Open golf tournament in San Antonio, in this Saturday, April 3, 2021, file photo. Spieth will try to complete the career Grand Slam next week at the PGA Championship. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas, File)
Momentum for McIlroy, few others going into PGA Championship

Momentum for McIlroy, few others going into PGA Championship

Cori Gauff of the United States reacts after missing a point against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during their 3rd round match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Gauff won 7-5, 6-3. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Never count him out: Nadal rallies past Shapovalov in Rome

Never count him out: Nadal rallies past Shapovalov in Rome

The Saskatchewan Provincial Courthouse in Prince Albert, Sask., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Cpl. Bernie Herman, a 32-year member of the RCMP, is accused of killing 26-year-old Braden Herman. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Saskatchewan Mountie charged with murder had been harassing man: sister

Saskatchewan Mountie charged with murder had been harassing man: sister

Most Read