Alberta leads west in exports

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EDMONTON, Alta. – A recent research paper has indicated Alberta leads Western Canada in exports, with foreign sales rising 65 per cent over the past two years.

The $57.5 billion in exports from Alberta represents more than half of all exports west of Ontario. It’s also the only province in the west to increase its exports in 2001, thanks mainly to continental free trade. Since NAFTA, Alberta has seen its exports surge by 340 per cent.

“We’ve really done quite well,” economist Rolf Mirus tells local media.

Currently, exports account for more than one-third of Alberta’s $124 billion economy, ranking third behind Ontario and Quebec respectively.

“Overall, Alberta’s global exports grew by 2.9 per cent during a year of unsettled economic conditions,” says Halvar Jonson, Minister of International Relations.

“The effects of the economic downturn after Sept. 11 had much more of an impact on the other western Canadian provinces, where exports fell by an average of 6.7 per cent.”

In 2001, other western provinces saw declines of 7.8 per cent in B.C., 6.7 per cent in Saskatchewan and 2.7 per cent in Manitoba. Alberta relies on the U.S. for nearly 90 per cent of its exports.

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