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May 13, 2002
Investment promotion mission to Hong Kong lines up new business for Toronto
  
HONG KONG -- A City of Toronto delegation, on an investment promotion mission
to Asia, has succeeded in attracting business for Toronto and in identifying
new opportunities for Toronto companies in China.

"The mission's success in Hong Kong proves that the City will attract new
investment and jobs if we do a more aggressive job of raising the City's
profile on the international stage," said Councillor Michael Feldman, head of
the delegation and Chair of Toronto Council's Economic Development and Parks
Committee.

Following a presentation by the investment promotion mission to the Hong Kong
Biotechnology Association, two biomedical companies asked for assistance in
establishing operations in Toronto's Discovery District. The presentation
focussed on Toronto's competitive advantages in this field and highlighted the
Discovery District and the MARS project in downtown Toronto.

"Toronto is well-known to Hong Kong, but what is not widely known is the
leadership role it plays in many sectors of the economy, including
biotechnology. We recently invested in a Toronto company and the investment
promotion mission's presentation has reassured us that our investment was a
good one," said Kitty Y. Lo, head of MAXX Bioscience Technology, based in Hong
Kong.

Toronto's Discovery District, an area bound by Bloor Street, Bay Street, Dundas
Street West and Spadina Avenue, has been the location of numerous biomedical
breakthroughs and 'firsts' developed by medical researchers in Toronto's
downtown hospitals and the University of Toronto. The Discovery District has
the highest concentration of medicine-related jobs in North America, and is the
future home of the MARS project.

The biotechnology/biomedicine sector is the fastest-growing sector in the
global economy, and Toronto is a world leader in this area. More people are
employed in Toronto's biotechnology/biomedicine sector than in any other city
in North America.

The Toronto delegation also received an enthusiastic reception from the
Canadian Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong, the largest and most active Canadian
Chamber outside Canada. Members of the Congress expressed strong support for
Toronto's trade initiative and advised Toronto to locate a trade agent in Hong
Kong in order to capitalize on the many opportunities for Toronto firms in
China.

"There are tremendous opportunities for Toronto companies to access the
mainland China market through Hong Kong. More than 200,000 Canadians live in
Hong Kong and more than 100,000 Hong Kong citizens were educated in Ontario -
they are keen to work with Toronto to advance our interests," Councillor
Feldman said.

The Toronto trade mission's goals for its tour of Asia are to identify trade
and investment opportunities, to encourage foreign investment in Toronto, and
to determine how the City can improve its programs to facilitate investment.


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