Health Care And Education Take Centre Stage In Shanghai
Premier Meets China's Education Minister; University Health Network Opens Joint Project
SHANGHAI -- Agreements marking greater cooperation between Ontario and China in health care and education took centre stage today as the province's trade mission to China arrived in this rapidly growing metropolis in the Yangtze River delta.
"Ontario and China both recognize the importance of investing in our human capital by strengthening the health and education of our people," Premier Dalton McGuinty said. "And our people are strongest when they work together."
Upon arriving in Shanghai, the Premier joined officials from the Toronto-based University Health Network in opening a joint project with the Shanghai Institute of Life Sciences.
The purpose of the joint venture is to develop new drugs to fight cancer and other major diseases.
"This new lab will provide jobs and help grow prosperity -- here in China and in Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "But not only will it improve our ability to do innovative research, it could lead to lifesaving treatments that could help millions of people live longer, healthier lives."
University Health Network, one of Toronto's teaching hospitals, officially launched its Shanghai Centre along with the Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences.
Tony Wong, MPP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for the Ministry of Research and Innovation also attended the ceremony.
"Ontario and China are home to some of the greatest minds in the world and some of the most progressive research facilities," said Wong. "This joint venture will create an environment where our researchers can work together and allow innovation to flourish for the benefit of both our peoples."
The Premier started his day in Beijing, where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China's Education Minister Zhou Ji that will facilitate academic mobility and cooperation, and the mutual recognition of diplomas and degrees.
The trade mission includes more than 125 people from approximately 100 organizations, representing private sector companies, universities and colleges, municipalities, agricultural organizations and medical research institutions.
With more than one--third of the delegates representing the education sector, the mission has been marked by several agreements between Ontario institutions and their counterparts.
This Friday, the Premier will visit Middle School # 10 in Suzhou in Jiangsu province.
The importance of education was also the topic of discussion at a welcoming banquet hosted by the Vice-Mayor of Shanghai Zhou Yupeng.
Tomorrow, the Premier and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Joseph Cordiano will meet with senior executives from the Chinese auto sector at a roundtable.
Minister Cordiano prepared for that meeting today by visiting GM's facility in Shanghai and spoke with business leaders about the successful partnership between GM Shanghai and Oshawa in building technology for the Chevrolet Equinox.