Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Province promoted as education zone

Trade mission to focus on schooling

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Premier Greg Selinger leaves Sunday for India on his third major international trade mission in a year, this time to also promote the province as an education destination.

He'll be joined by members of the Business Council of Manitoba and representatives of Manitoba's colleges and universities. Last June, Selinger travelled to Brazil and in August he went to China.

Selinger said the 10-day trip is aimed at getting a foot in the door for local business and education leaders.

"The value of having a delegation of business, education and government gives you a stronger presence in the market and allows you to meet a number of high-level officials both in the public, private and institutional sectors," he said. "You create those relationships that make other business transactions flow forward."

Selinger said an example of how a trade mission can benefit local business is Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries Inc.'s recent deal with Brazilian company Marcopolo SA, one of the largest bus manufacturers in the world. The Brazilian company bought a nearly 20 per cent stake in New Flyer for $116 million. The two companies also signed an agreement to explore ways to co-operate on engineering, technical, purchasing and operational matters.

"I'm not saying we deserve the credit for it, but I met with the Marcopolo bus company when I was in Brazil last spring," he said. "We also brought another small company up here that specializes in humidity and moisture detection in grain supplies and crop products. A small company relocated to Manitoba."

Delegates on the trip to India include the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, Westeel, Cubex, Magellan Aerospace, CentrePort Canada, Maxim Truck and Trailer, Johnson Waste Management, RBC, Innovate Manitoba, Yes! Winnipeg, Parenty Reitmeier, World Trade Centre Winnipeg and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba.

"Manitoba has a lot of small and medium-sized businesses and this is a chance for them to expand their market opportunities," Selinger said. "If they went alone, it would be much harder to get access to these different industrial associations, government people and businesses. By going together, we get more rapid access at a higher level."

They'll be joined by representatives from Red River College, Winnipeg Technical College, Brandon University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

The trip includes stops in Delhi and Mumbai along with several smaller centres including Chandigarh, Bhanohar, Sawaddi, Ludhiana, Agra and Ahmadabad.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 26, 2013 A11

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