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Victoria officials travel to China to promote trade

The city of Victoria is leading an economic development mission to China this spring to promote key capital region sectors. "In these economic times, it is something the city can really do to help our local economy," Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said. The delegation will visit Suzhou, to mark its 30th anniversary as a sister city of Victoria, as well as several other cities in China, he said. Shanghai is one of the possibilities. This trip gives Victoria the chance to build on federal and provincial initiatives with China, Fortin said. The goal is to expand on the current relationship by fostering economic ties through its post-secondary, high-tech and tourism sectors. The Toronto Stock Exchange slid last week partly because of worries that China may tighten its monetary policy, even though it had a powerful 10.7-per-cent GDP growth in the fourth quarter of last year. Suzhou, with a population of more than six million, is on the lower portion of the Yangtze River in eastern China. Victoria has been working with Sasha Angus, economic development officer with the Greater Victoria Development Agency, to plan the event. Details are still being arranged. It will likely take place in a busy 10- day, or less, trip in late April or early May. Participants can expect 16-hourlong work days, Fortin said. He anticipates attending, but said the decision on who else from the city will go along has not been made yet. The trip will be paid for through a provincial grant from the province under its Asia Pacific Initiative and no city money will be spent, he said. This is just the latest Victoria delegation to China. Former Victoria mayor Alan Lowe led delegations in recent years.

URL:http://www.kelowna.com/2010/01/27/victoria-officials-travel-to-china-to-promote-trade/