Ontario Chamber applauds trade talks

    TORONTO, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Ontario's premier business advocate applauds the
trade talks announced today by Premiers Dalton McGuinty and Jean Charest.
    "We're fully supportive of efforts to eliminate trade barriers and
improve labour mobility between our two provinces," explains Len Crispino,
President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Our members are
confronted by trade obstacles every day in the course of doing business. If
we're to build globally competitive businesses, we must first help them
prosper at home."
    The Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Quebec Chambers of
Commerce have also agreed to work together to enhance the growth of Canada's
leading trade corridor and to help facilitate a truly free market between the
provinces. The Chambers have identified four priorities: transportation;
cross-border management; trade barriers and economic development.
    "As Canada's leading trade corridor, the Quebec-Ontario Corridor is an
important driver of Canada's prosperity, and ripe for improved cooperation,"
adds Crispino.
    In 2002, business between Quebec and Ontario amounted to $35.8 billion.
Ontario is Quebec's largest trading partner, ahead of New York State, while
Quebec is Ontario's second-largest trading partner, after Michigan.

    The OCC represents over 57,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of
Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since
1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the
economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance &
taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.

For further information:

For further information: Amy Terrill, W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241, C:
(416) 605-8205, amyterrill@occ.on.ca

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