Edmonton International Airport signs agreement to boost trade with China

The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) has signed an agreement it said will make the airport a hub for trade between North America and China.

EIA said the agreement with EHL International Logistics Co. makes it the home of a centre for goods moving between China and North America.

The airport said the deal will generate new jobs and increase access to global markets for small- and medium-sized businesses.

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“We welcome EHL to EIA’s Airport City and the new construction investment, jobs and trade opportunities it brings to the Edmonton Metro Region and Alberta,” EIA president and CEO Tom Ruth said.

“This significant agreement builds from EIA’s strong track record of driving successful trade and commerce between China and North America, solidifying EIA as a major international trade hub.”

It’s the latest in several developments at EIA this year, including the opening of a Costco warehouse in August, the opening of the Premium Outlet Collection EIA mall in May and a new five-storey, 135-room and suite Fairfield Inn by Marriott, which is under development and scheduled to be complete in early 2019.

Last month, the Edmonton airport announced the construction of a 50,000-square-foot, $19-million Air Canada facility that will house the airline’s ground support equipment service and cargo teams.

Ruth said there have been about 25 different investments at the airport over the past four to five years.

The airport said the agreement with EHL — which is a subsidiary of China’s Henan provincial government — is the latest move in developing EIA as a leading North American transportation and logistics hub for the movement of goods to and from China.

“Henan is a key link to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and EHL is committed to develop trade links between China, Canada and U.S.A. through our distribution centre in Edmonton,” EHL president Ziqiang Ma said.

“We chose Edmonton because of the ideal location, logistics infrastructure and strong partnership with EIA and Maple Horizons. We believe that through this, we can increase trade and cooperation between China and North America.”

The EIA said agri-food and manufacturing will benefit most from the partnership. Maple Horizons is a Canadian company involved in the e-commerce market in China and acted as a catalyst in finalizing the agreement, according to the airport.

“Edmonton is the ideal location for expanding air cargo business between China and North America due to its geography, local expertise in transportation and logistics, and government leadership,” Maple Horizons president William Wang said. “The city is one of the best places to do business in Canada and is a strong base for e-commerce distribution across North America. We are excited to partner with EIA and EHL to build the China-Canada logistics solutions of tomorrow.”

The city of Zhengzhou is the provincial capital of Henan Province. Henan is China’s pilot zone for cross-border e-commerce.

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