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Ontario Trade Mission Focusing On Innovation

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Ontario Trade Mission Focusing On Innovation

Premier McGuinty Guest Of Honour At Canada-China Business Council Dinner

Office of the Premier

BEIJING -- Ontario's trade mission to China today highlighted the province's commitment to supporting research, bringing ideas to market and building a skilled workforce.

"This mission is a great opportunity to learn how our province can succeed in this dynamic market to create jobs and prosperity at home," said Premier McGuinty. "Today, we shared Ontario's vision for a more innovative economy with key decision-makers and explored ideas for new partnerships."

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. Trade mission members took part in an innovation roundtable luncheon with representatives from Chinese government, corporations and institutions. The roundtable discussed Ontario's efforts to foster a culture of innovation and encourage the commercialization of new ideas.

In a meeting with Information Industries Wang Xudong, the Premier underscored the strength of Ontario's information and communications technologies firms, and their interest in partnering with their Chinese counterparts to market products and services globally, and Ontario's strengths as an investment destination.

The Premier raised with Minister Wang the importance of market access for Ontario companies.

Minister of Economic Development and Trade Joseph Cordiano also attended the roundtable and met with Chinese officials.

"This trade mission sends a strong signal to potential investors that Ontario is committed to increasing its trade with China," said Cordiano. "We're making the most of this opportunity to send a message that investing in our province provides access to a highly skilled workforce, a culture of innovation and a gateway to North America."

Later in the day, Premier McGuinty was the guest of honour at the Canada-China Business Council's annual gala dinner. In his remarks, Premier McGuinty stressed the themes of education, innovation and investment.

The Premier's speech was attended by National People's Congress Vice-Chair Gu Xiulian . Vice Chair Gu was previously the Governor of Jiangsu Province and her friendship with Ontario has a long history. Twenty years ago, Governor Gu and Premier David Peterson signed a Friendship Accord celebrating a cultural, economic and governmental exchange between Ontario and Jiangsu.

"We are very proud of our friendship with China, our trade with China and our business with China," said Premier McGuinty, who will renew the friendship accord with Jiangsu during this trade mission. "We want to strengthen that friendship, increase that trade and become even stronger partners."

Tomorrow, the Ontario Trade Mission, led by the Premier, moves on to Shanghai.

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