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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Quebec Premier Couillard to lead first trade mission to China in October

QUEBEC - Premier Philippe Couillard is heading to China in October for his first economic mission abroad.

The Canadian Press has learned Couillard will visit China from Oct. 26 to Oct. 31, going first to Shanghai and then Beijing and Shandong.

China is Quebec's second-largest trading partner, with the volume of trade reaching $10 billion.

Quebec's exports to China currently total $2.4 billion and are vastly outweighed by China's exports to Quebec, which amount to $7.7 billion.

The emphasis for the trip will be on the aerospace, bio-food, health, information technology and green tech sectors.

The trip is a chance for Couillard to strengthen ties with China as he looks for investors in the mining sector amid the reactivation of the Plan Nord northern development plan.

He will also be promoting his Maritime Strategy, a development plan for the St. Lawrence River.

The mission, however, will mainly focus on boosting Quebec exports to the market of 1.3 billion potential customers.

Quebec has undertaken three trade missions to China in the last decade, in 2005, 2008 and 2011.

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