Alberta to Boost Export Lobbying With New Foreign Offices

Alberta, Canada’s biggest oil-producing province, is opening trade offices in India and Brazil in an effort to boost exports to those regions as the primary U.S. market meets more of its own energy needs.

Officials will lobby on behalf of energy, agriculture and forestry producers, the provincial government said today in an e-mailed statement. Alberta will also spend more at its Beijing office and establish new offices in southern China, California, Chicago and Singapore. The government has 10 international offices in cities, according to its website.

“We’re committed to building Alberta by opening up new markets to ensure we get the fairest price possible for our resources and products,” Premier Alison Redford said in the statement.

Last year Alberta exported goods valued at C$95 billion ($92.3 billion) to 187 countries, according to Alberta’s website. The U.S. consumed 87 percent of the province’s shipments. Oil, natural gas and other energy products made up 73 percent of products exported. Trade accounts for more than one-third of the province’s economy.

Being land-locked is one of the main barriers for Alberta to access Asian markets, according to a government document on the trade effort. The province is receiving a lower price for its energy products in the U.S. than in the rest of the world as North American production grows, a situation that may worsen, the document said.

Alberta officials are supporting efforts to build pipelines south, east, west and north to get crude to tidewater.

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