Ontario's Economy On Track For Continued Growth

    Aggressive Strategies Helped Create 327,000 Jobs

    QUEEN'S PARK, ON, March 18 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government's
comprehensive strategies to strengthen key economic sectors and position
Ontario as a leading competitor in the global knowledge economy helped create
327,000 jobs since October 2003.
    "We're working very aggressively to generate more 'made-in-Ontario'
companies that stay here, create jobs here and compete in the international
marketplace," said Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello.
"And we've established a clear presence for Ontario in key global markets that
are important to our exporters."
    The McGuinty government is making strategic investments in Ontario's
advanced manufacturing sector that underpins the provincial economy, employing
about one million people, or 16 per cent of Ontario's total employment.
Ontario's investments focus on advanced technologies and innovations that are
considered essential for Ontario manufacturers to compete and secure long-term

    Strengthening Key Sectors

    -   Ontario's automotive investment strategies have helped anchor 7,000
        jobs and attract $7-billion in new auto investments including a new
        state-of-the-art Toyota assembly plant in Woodstock, the first green
        field investment the province has secured in 20 years. The strategy
        supports skills training, research and development, public
        infrastructure, environmental technologies and energy efficiencies.

    -   Ontario's Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy (AMIS),
        introduced in December 2005, encourages companies to invest in
        leading technologies and processes that will increase productivity
        and competitiveness. To date Ontario has announced six AMIS projects
        that will generate $245-million in new investments and support the
        creation or retention of nearly 2,500 high value jobs over five

    -   An Ontario oil sands initiative is creating east-west partnerships
        and leveraging Ontario expertise in manufacturing technologies,
        automation, robotics, advanced materials and lean manufacturing.

    Strengthening Ontario's Global Profile

    The government is also promoting Ontario expertise, knowledge and economic
and cultural diversity in key world markets where Ontario products and
services are needed and wanted.

    -   Ontario International Marketing Centres (IMCs) in ten key markets
        will give Ontario exporters the platform they need to profile their
        strengths. IMCs, co-located with existing Canadian foreign missions,
        are open in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai, New Delhi, Munich
        and London. This year three more Ontario IMCs will become operational
        in Mexico City, Beijing and Paris.

    -   Ontario Business Missions to China, India and Pakistan have helped
        link Ontarians with business, education and cultural opportunities in
        these massive markets. Ontario delegates signed more than 70
        agreements with their partners in these markets that are now being
        transformed into new business contracts, new investment and new jobs
        in Ontario.

    "Economists continue to predict good economic growth in Ontario this year
and even stronger growth in 2008," Pupatello said. "Since we took office in
October 2003, Ontario has gained 327,000 jobs with more than 70 per cent of
those full time high value positions. We are making the right strategic
investments that strengthen our position and generate more wealth and
prosperity for the people of Ontario."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Phil De Mont, Minister's Office, (416)
325-6706; Lisa Roberts, Communications and Public Affairs Branch, (416)

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Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

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