Alberta opens up for manufacturing deals
By JOHN DUCE
FOR most people, Alberta conjures up images of the Rocky Mountains.
But the province is not just a place of geographical wonders.
Alberta is endowed with natural beauty - vast forests to the north and open spaces stretching from the Rockies, in the west, to the centre of Canada.
The province's agent general in Hong Kong, Gordon Young, said: ''The scenery really is breathtaking. The Himalayan mountains are comparable, but there's nothing in Europe which can really be compared to the Rockies.'' Tourism is the province's third main source of revenue.
Like other areas of Canada, Alberta has attracted large numbers of immigrants from Hong Kong.
Calgary and Edmonton are the third and fourth most popular destinations for migrants from Hong Kong.
About 10 per cent of the population in each city is of Chinese origin.
Mr Young said Alberta intended to attract more emigrants.
''They make good business people. In Alberta, we don't have a history of manufacturing and people in Hong Kong have that expertise,'' Mr Young said.
''We welcome them here, there are a lot of opportunities. Unlike other areas of Canada, we have largely escaped the recession and the business climate is good.'' Billions of dollars have been invested by Hong Kong businesses in the province, particularly in the oil and gas sectors.
Describing Alberta as an attractive proposition for investors, Mr Young said the province's right-wing government offered low taxation to firms operating in the area.
''Alberta is entrepreneurial and aggressive. We are keen to do all we can to encourage the private sector,'' he said.
''Also, the oil and gas business is international and is always looking for investment from overseas.
''This is a good place to do business, and to live in.'' Like other provinces, Alberta is tying up business with China.
China's National Petroleum Agency has set up an office in Calgary and it is hoped the province could continue to forge closer business links with Southeast Asia.