Friday, March 7, 2014
The Associated Press
AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. Paul LePage is visiting western Canada in hopes of identifying new business and trade opportunities.
LePage is visiting Calgary, Alberta, from Sunday through Wednesday in conjunction with a trade mission organized by the Maine International Trade Center.
LePage says he will meet with Alberta Premier Alison Redford and members of her Cabinet as well as business leaders at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Calgary.
Businesses taking part in the trade mission will have matchmaking sessions with prospective business partners in Alberta on Monday and Tuesday before returning to Maine on Wednesday.
Alberta has experienced strong economic growth over the past decade, fueled by its abundant oil and natural gas reserves, its traditional strengths of agriculture and forestry and a growing manufacturing base.
Maine already has significant trade with western Canada, but the time is right to seek out more, said Janine Bisaillon-Cary, president of the Maine International Trade Center.
"Maine's development of trade with western Canada experienced a 16 percent increase in 2012 with exports averaging more than $35 million last year," Cary said in a statement. "It's imperative that Maine get plugged in as the Alberta economy continues to surge."