Local businessman, Shawn Hansen joining trip to Beijing (via High River Times)

At the end of June, one High River businessman will be traveling half a world away to accompany an investment mission that aims to increase investment from China in Alberta.

Shawn Hansen, owner of Hansen Land Brokers, will join roughly 40 other businessmen and women on the trip that will also include Premier Alison Redford and local MD resident John Hankins.

“The purpose of the trip is to attract investment in Asia and bring it back into Alberta. We are focusing on two streams; energy and real estate,” Hankins, the Vice President for Investment and Trade Development for Calgary Economic Development, said. “We added real estate because there is more interest from the Chinese to invest in infrastructure projects. There is an appetite on this end to seek investment and there is an appetite in China to seek new markets.”

The trip begins on June 24 in Hong Kong, where the delegation will spend a full day, meeting with investors one-on-one. Following this, they will travel to Beijing for the EuroMoney Conference.

“The goals of the trip are to raise the profile of Alberta and Calgary, but the most important one is for companies that come with us to come back with new ideas and new connections,” Hankins said.

As for Hansen, the trip will be all about learning more.

“For me, it is a fact-finding mission. Over the last few years, we have paid attention to what is going on and we know the Chinese are looking at Alberta for investment,” Hansen said.

It is estimated that in the next decade China will invest over $2 trillion in overseas companies, plants and property. Chinese investment in oil and gas and real estate in Canada has increased dramatically over the past few years as well.

Hansen, who has been operating out of High River for 20 years, felt that the time was right for the opportunity to go overseas.

“When I talked to John and he said they were going over, it seemed like it was a perfect fit,” Hansen said.

Hansen and the rest of the Alberta delegation will return at the end of June, with hopefully more connections and more knowledge about the growing investment giant that is China.