Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. form 'economic powerhouse'

Agreement creates Canada's largest interprovincial trade and investment market
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 05/13/2010

Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have formed a partnership that will create Canada’s largest interprovincial, barrier-free, trade and investment market

As part of the New West Partnership, the three westernmost provinces will work together to the benefit of workers, businesses and investors in all three provinces.

It will also result in an economy that includes nine million people with a combined gross domestic product of more than $550 billion.

“We are combining the strength of our three vibrant economies and working together to create lasting prosperity. Our three provinces have created a model that cements the West as the economic powerhouse of Canada," said Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

The partnership contains four components:

• A comprehensive economic agreement, which will remove remaining barriers to trade, investment and labour mobility, further enhancing the competitiveness of Canada’s Western Provinces.

• An international co-operation agreement that will see the three provinces co-operate on trade and investment missions to international markets, and share foreign market intelligence to advance joint interests and increase business competitiveness.

• An innovation agreement, which will enable provincial innovation efforts to be co-ordinated to better attract investment and talent, helping build critical mass of innovation activities in the West.

• A procurement agreement that will enable the provinces to capitalize on their combined buying power through the joint procurement of goods and services.

“The New West Partnership creates more choice for businesses, workers and consumers. It allows the west to market itself as one region to bolster export development and attract investment," said Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

The first major undertaking of the partnership will be a joint mission to China and Japan in May. The provinces will promote trade and commerce opportunities with Canada’s newest free trade region and draw attention to the provinces' global leadership in clean technology, natural resources, and agri-food and agriculture.

The premiers will also highlight Western Canada’s many geographic and infrastructure advantages, including the region’s multi-modal Pacific Gateway and Corridor transportation system, and their unwavering support for open skies and open trade with the Asia Pacific region.

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