Province signs agricultural agreements in two states

In the midst of criticism over the expense of Alberta Government representatives’ overseas missions Premier Alison Redford has made progress on opening trade in India.

Redford has signed agricultural trade agreements in the northern states of Punjab and Meghalaya and announced the creation of an Alberta-India office in Delhi. It is the province’s eighth internationally based trade office.

“India is the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing power. Opening new markets is job one for our government and… this mission is a valuable opportunity to do just that” she said before leaving on the trip estimated to cost taxpayers $120000.

Alberta International Relations spokesperson Derek Cummings says the two India states represent a population of nearly 70 million people. He says in addition to selling Alberta’s energy sector Redford is focusing on agriculture as India is “already Canada’s largest market for pulses like lentils and chickpeas.” Meghalaya in particular imports a great deal of pork so Cummings says Redford was keen to open ties between the state and Alberta producers.