PREMIERS JEAN CHAREST AND GARY DOER OFFICIATED AT THE SIGNING OF AN IMPORTANT AGREEMENT REGARDING THE FRANCOPHONIE



    QUEBEC, July 15 /CNW Telbec/ - In conjunction with the Council of the
Federation being held in the city of Québec, Quebec Premier Jean Charest,
Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, and Quebec's Minister responsible for Canadian
Intergovernmental Affairs and Francophones within Canada, Benoit Pelletier,
officiated at the signing ceremony today of a partnership agreement between
the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques and the Agence nationale et
internationale du Manitoba.
    The agreement was signed by the executive directors of the two
organizations: Mariette Mulaire for the Agence nationale et internationale du
Manitoba and Michel Robitaille for the Centre de la francophonie des
Amériques. This seventh agreement made by the Centre de la francophonie des
Amériques is the first to involve an organization from Western Canada. The
agreement aims to establish an environment that promotes the economic and
social development of the francophone communities of the Americas and to
develop sustainable ties between entrepreneurs seeking to do business in
French.
    "The signing of a seventh partnership agreement confirms that the new
Centre de la francophonie des Amériques is already fulfilling its role as a
unifying force of the vital strengths of francophone communities. I am
delighted that the very successful cooperation between Quebec and Manitoba,
particularly in the area of the environment, is now enhanced by a component
that involves francophone business communities. It is important to recognize
that the French language can generate projects in opportunity areas such as
education, the economy, culture and new technologies," said Premier Charest.
    "The agreement signed today will inject new energy into this network
which is facilitating trade within the Americas," Doer said. "For our
businesses and our citizens, this means greater access to new economic
opportunities among a trans-continental network that includes 28 million
Francophones and 60 million Francophiles in the Americas. This is a positive
step forward for Manitoba, Quebec and the Americas."
    "I am confident that more agreements will be made in the months ahead,
given that the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques is an additional tool
that complements the means already being used to expand the Francophonie's
outreach. As such, it belongs to everyone who is committed to the future of
the French fact in the Americas," Minister Pelletier noted.
    The Centre de la francophonie des Amériques was recently created by the
Government of Quebec to spur the Francophonie of the Americas into action. Its
strategic plan and interactive portal will be unveiled at its official
inauguration in October 2008. The agreement between the Agence nationale et
internationale du Manitoba is timely, as it will enable the Centre to develop
reference tools to be featured in the "faire des affaires entre francophones"
section of its site providing valuable information for francophone business
communities. It will also support the development, organization and
coordination of economic activities.
    The six other organizations that have signed partnership agreements with
the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques to date and which will help to
create a francophone virtual community are: Université Laval, the Association
des universités de la francophonie canadienne, the Encyclopédie du patrimoine
culturel de l'Amérique française, the Fédération culturelle
canadienne-française, the Fédération des familles souches du Québec and the
Fondation de l'entrepreneurship.

    The Agence nationale et internationale du Manitoba is a not-for-profit
organization established by the Government of Manitoba with the mandate of
promoting and developing Manitoba's economy with francophone markets in Canada
and abroad. It has recognized expertise in the organization of economic
events.

    To find out more about the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques and
the Agence nationale et internationale du Manitoba, visit the following
websites: www.centredelafrancophoniedesameriques.com and www.animcanada.com.
    -%SU: CLT,CPN,TAX
    -%RE: 37




For further information:

For further information: Hugo D'Amours, Press secretary, Québec
Premier's office, (418) 643-5321; Riva Harrison, Press secratary, Manitoba
Premier's office, (204) 945-1494; Jolyane Pronovost, Press Secretary, Cabinet
du ministre responsable des Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes et de
la Francophonie canadienne, (418) 646-5950

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