Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has announced a costly junket to Seoul, South Korea, with less than two months left in his premiership.
“This weekend, I’m headed to Seoul, Korea, in order to promote job-creating investment in Alberta,” Kenney beamed.
He continues, saying that he’ll be working to create jobs and further diversify the economy through foreign investment — though it’s not clear what makes this trip necessary.
“We need to keep that foreign investment coming. And that’s why we created the Invest Alberta agency that has offices all around the world, including Korea. That’s where I’m headed this weekend for a three-and-a-half-day visit to meet with the top leaders of some of Asia’s largest companies,” Kenney said.
Kenney says that several Korean conglomerates have also shown interest in investing billions into various green tech, hydrogen, and manufacturing projects and even small nuclear modular reactors in the province.
Accompanying the Premier on his trip will be two staff members along with Gerald Chipeur, the Counsul of the Republic of Korea in Calgary and partner at Miller Thomson, LLP, Rick Christiaanse, the CEO of Invest Alberta Corporation, and Sunjong Chun of CKBC Inc.
According to an Alberta government news release, South Korea currently sits as Alberta’s fifth-largest market, with the province exporting $668 million annually (primarily commodities) and importing roughly $209 million worth of goods (primarily machinery and plastics) — a trade surplus of approximately $459 million.
As for the official schedule for the trip, Kenney plans on meeting with POSCO Holdings, Hyundai Engineering, Hyundai Motor Company, the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute, the Minister of Science, the Ministry of Trade, and Korean Hydro and Nuclear Power.
Kenney will depart Alberta on August 27 and is expected to return on August 31.