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January 17, 2008 | General

Memorandum of Understanding first step in making Port Alberta a reality

Edmonton (Jan. 11, 2008) – Transforming the Edmonton Region into a leading global transportation and trade hub is one step closer to reality thanks to a partnership between Edmonton Airports, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, the partners outlined their commitment to ensure that the Edmonton Region develops as a major North American warehousing, distribution, and multi-modal hub linking road, rail, and air throughout the region with marine ports on the west coast.

“The Port Alberta concept holds great promise in the development of new market and trade opportunities. It supports the expansion of Western Canada’s value-added capacity,” said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification. “I want to thank the partners for their tremendous leadership and vision.”

“The Edmonton Region has an undisputed advantage as a global transportation and trade hub. Our geographic location, attractiveness to global investment and strong, committed regional partners are the elements we need to realize the goal of Port Alberta,” said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. “The City of Edmonton was an early champion of Port Alberta. We will continue to be there to lend support and assistance to the partners as they move forward on their endeavours.”

“As part of the Port Alberta initiative, Edmonton International Airport is positioned to become a major cargo distribution centre, capable of hosting multiple modes of transportation and being a catalyst for advancing global trade and distribution across the Edmonton Region,” said Reg Milley, President and CEO of Edmonton Airports. “Work is underway to secure partnerships, investment and funding, and to develop the necessary infrastructure for warehouse and logistics facilities that will serve North America’s growing trade through NAFTA and with Asia and Europe.”

“The Port Alberta concept has been a Chamber priority for years,” said Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Martin Salloum. “A visionary project like this depends on the forward-thinking principles of its founding partners. Locating Port Alberta’s offices in the World Trade Centre Edmonton is an ideal fit. Trade initiatives like Port Alberta are the very reason we established World Trade Centre Edmonton in the first place.”

“Alberta’s $46 billion GDP annual economy now has an express-lane to unprecedented trans-Pacific trade,” says Ron Gilbertson, president and CEO of Edmonton Economic Development Corp. “Port Alberta will co-ordinate a strategy to optimize our region’s ‘road, rail and runway’ infrastructure so Edmonton industry can capitalize on new export and back-haul opportunities with Asian markets.”

Key activities undertaken by the partnership this year include the development of an integrated transportation strategy, a marketing and public awareness strategy as well as reinforcing the need for investment from all orders of government to ensure the long-term viability of the port.

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For more information:

Michelle Mondeville
City of Edmonton
Office: (780) 442-5290
Cell: (780) 619-7246