Ken­ney plans six-day trade trip to In­dia

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - CLARE CLANCY cclancy@post­ twit­­clancy

ED­MON­TON Op­po­si­tion Leader Ja­son Ken­ney is plan­ning a six-day trip to In­dia to meet with se­nior gov­ern­ment and business of­fi­cials, said a Fri­day news re­lease.

The UCP del­e­ga­tion will in­clude MLAs Prasad Panda and Devin Dreeshen, who are pegged as the party’s en­ergy and trade crit­ics re­spec­tively.

“Al­ber­tans don’t know what his trade pol­icy is, no­body does,” said Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Trade Min­is­ter Deron Bilous in an in­ter­view Fri­day. “What we do know is that his newly ap­pointed trade critic spent a year cam­paign­ing for Don­ald Trump.”

Dreeshen, who was elected in the In­n­is­fail-Syl­van Lake by­elec­tion in July, pre­vi­ously worked as a vol­un­teer on Don­ald Trump’s suc­cess­ful 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

A news re­lease said the UCP del­e­ga­tion will de­part on Sun­day and head to New Delhi, Mumbai, Am­rit­sar and Jam­na­gar. Pit stops will in­clude a tour of a large petro­chem­i­cal re­fin­ery and a roundtable with oil and gas ex­ec­u­tives.

Pri­or­i­ties will in­clude speak­ing about tar­iffs that hin­der mar­ket ac­cess for Al­berta pro­duc­ers of peas and lentils, the re­lease said.

“I do have a con­cern that there’s po­ten­tial to cre­ate a lit­tle con­fu­sion when it comes to the work that we’re en­gaged on di­rectly with In­dian of­fi­cials … to­ward elim­i­nat­ing the un­fair tar­iffs they placed on Cana­dian pulses,” Bilous said.

Agri­cul­ture and Forestry Min­is­ter Oneil Car­lier has led two trade mis­sions to In­dia, he added. “We recognize it as a grow­ing mar­ket.”

Trade be­tween Al­berta and In­dia is val­ued at about $350 mil­lion per year, Bilous said.

Ken­ney said he cham­pi­oned closer ties be­tween Canada and In­dia dur­ing his time as a fed­eral politi­cian.


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