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Interest in Agri-Food Innovation Leads to MOU Between Ag-West Bio, and World Trade Centers in Saskatoon and Harbin, China

Mutual interest in the development of agricultural innovation, including food research and commercialization, has led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the World Trade Center Saskatoon, the World Trade Center Harbin, China, and Ag-West Bio.

Harbin, the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang province in China, is the eighth most populous Chinese city. It serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications hub in Northeast China, as well as an important industrial base of the nation. The area is surrounded by rich agricultural land and is an ideal location for agricultural business.

HongShan Zhang, President of the World Trade Center Harbin, remarked, “We are excited about this collaboration. Ag-West Bio is a strong partner in agri-food innovation and a member of the Protein Industries Canada Supercluster. We recognize the strategic importance of Saskatchewan on the agricultural map, with deep knowledge and expertise in crop development and agri-food processing capabilities.”

The new World Trade Center in Saskatoon is part of a network of more than 320 World Trade Centers in almost 100 countries around the world. All are devoted to stimulating trade and investment opportunities for internationally focused business and organizations looking to connect globally and prosper locally.

John Williams, President of the World Trade Center Saskatoon, says the goal of this MOU is to enhance and strengthen agri-food innovation activities to benefit both jurisdictions. “The World Trade Center is the gateway to the world marketplace. We are excited to set out on this partnership, which will give us a framework to share expertise and information, and to grow the agri-food industries in both areas. We feel it will be positive for all three organizations.”

This agreement would support the establishment of cooperative research and development projects, foster business to business connections in agri-food research, development and commercialization, and catalyze relationships with other World Trade Centers, local governments and industries. Activities could include plant genetics and breeding, sustainable crop production, digital technologies, food/feed processing technologies and ingredient and product development, including food, feed and industrial bioproducts.

Ag-West Bio is Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association. The organization creates connections within and outside the province to catalyze initiatives and support the growth of bio-based business in the province.

Wilf Keller, president and CEO of Ag-West Bio sees this MOU as a positive step in building a friendly working relationship with China, an important trading partner for Canada. “We look forward to working with our new partners to pursue research and commercialization endeavors that might not be possible without this kind of connection.”

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