SHANGHAI, China (GNB) – Premier David Alward and leaders from other provinces and territories met with senior Chinese business leaders in Shanghai today as part of the Council of the Federation trade mission to China. The premiers were joined by senior government officials, business and institutional leaders from Canada.

"New Brunswick is Canada's most trade-driven province, and helping our exporters develop new opportunities in growing markets such as China is a vital part of our plan to rebuild New Brunswick's economy and create jobs," said Alward.

The premiers and delegates participated in events hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. There, they were joined by prominent business leaders and senior representatives of several Shanghai universities.  

"Provinces and territories have a critical role to play in creating the relationships and conditions required for our businesses to remain competitive in the global economy," said Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, chair of the Council of the Federation. "We have had the opportunity to meet with Shanghai government and business leaders, and I know that our Canadian businesses will benefit from these introductions and new linkages."

The premiers met with Ai Baojun, vice mayor of Shanghai. The meeting focused on the importance that Canadian provinces and territories place on their relationship with China and their desire to expand commercial linkages.  

The premiers discussed how to foster further growth in trade and investment between the provinces and territories and China, particularly in Shanghai.

Shanghai and the surrounding Yangtze River Delta produce almost one-quarter of China's gross domestic product and attract 53 per cent of all foreign direct investment in China.

Alward, Dexter and their counterparts from Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon are in Shanghai as part of the Council of the Federation mission to China, which continues until Sept. 20.

The Council of the Federation comprises all 13 provincial and territorial premiers. It enables the premiers to work collaboratively to strengthen the Canadian federation by fostering a constructive relationship among the provinces and territories and with the federal government.