The government of Manitoba created a Council on International Trade in 2011, which was tasked with developing a strategic plan that would focus the efforts of the Manitoba government and the private sector to increase domestic and international exports, imports, and investment. The Council prepared an International trade strategy that same year, which highlighted the importance of the U.S. market but also recognized the need to prepare for unexpected challenges in the U.S - Manitoba economic relationship.
The strategy took note of the fact that emerging economies are playing an increasingly influential role in the world’s economy and also presents opportunities for Manitoba. However, the strategy does not target any specific market. The strategy states that because Manitoba’s diverse economy is made up largely of SMEs, opportunities are more likely to be found in product/technology/service specific markets rather than geographical regions.
While Manitoba does not have trade offices in Asia, the province appointed several representatives of trade covering numerous markets in the region. These representatives provide the province with market intelligence and research, assist with trade delegations and facilitate business-to-business meetings. They have offices in Beijing (China), Shanghai (China), Ahmedabad (India), Delhi (India), Mumbai (India), Hyderabad (India), Bangalore (India), Alappuzha (India), Chennai (India) and Gujarat (India).
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Manitoba has six Asian sister cities, located in Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, China and South Korea.
It also has two sister province relationships with China, one with Anhui Province and another with Henan Province. Although the agreement with Henan Province was signed in 1994, Manitoba has long had a close trade relationship with China – the first trade export to China from Canada, following the establishment of diplomatic relations, was Manitoban wheat.
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Did You Know...
Since 2009, almost one fifth of Manitoba’s exports have gone to Asia,
about 95% of which has been agri-food products and metals and minerals.