Going to China: McGuinty announces trade mission on Twitter, Facebook

TORONTO – Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his fourth trade mission to China on Wednesday, posting a video on social media sites before issuing a traditional news release.

McGuinty took to Twitter and Facebook, and China’s Weibo network, to announce he would lead a delegation of government officials and business leaders to China, Ontario’s second-largest trading partner, with $29 billion in two-way trade in 2011.

“This trade mission is all about working together to seize opportunities to grow our economy and create more jobs,” McGuinty tells viewers.

“Each visit makes it more clear that China is one of the world’s most dynamic economies and that Ontario companies have what it takes to help China meet its priorities, like clean water, clean technology and agri-food production and innovation.”

Ontario has always had a strong friendship with China and now’s the time to make it even stronger, added McGuinty.

The mission, which starts Jan. 20, will include meetings with Chinese government officials and business leaders, with stops in Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing and Chengdu.

The delegation will also include Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid and Tourism Minister Michael Chan.

McGuinty has led trade missions to China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Israel, the West Bank and Lebanon since 2005.

The government says the trips raised Ontario’s profile as a global leader in clean energy, innovation, education and life sciences and resulted in over $1.5 billion in business agreements.