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Mayor Dianne Watts Joins Business, Youth And World Leaders To Explore Changing World Economies

October 20, 2011

Surrey – Some of the world’s leading business commentators, as well as youth and political leaders joined Mayor Dianne Watts at the 2011 Surrey Regional Economic Summit today to provide their unique perspectives on the new global economy and address a wide range of challenges and opportunities facing Surrey and Canada.

More than 500 local business, government and community leaders attended the sold out Summit, which over the past four years has featured prominent international speakers and presenters such as Tony Blair, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Forbes.

A key focus of the fourth annual Summit was the $1 trillion economic relationship between Canada and the United States, the nation’s most important trading partner. The two countries share the largest trading relationship in the world with $500 billion worth of trade and $500 billion worth of direct investment occurring between the two countries. Surrey, in particular, is home to the second busiest border crossing in Canada, with over $15 billion in goods crossing the border each year.

This year’s Summit featured former United States presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush. The Summit also featured: Pam Woodall, senior economics writer and former Asia economics editor with The Economist; John Fund, Columnist, The Wall Street Journal; Michael Levy, Founder, President and Managing Director of Border Gold Corporation, Niels Veldhuis, Vice President Research, The Fraser Institute; and Marc and Craig Kielburger, the Co-Founders of Free the Children and Me to We.

The Kielburgers addressed how Canadian businesses can inspire, recruit and retain the next generation of business leaders, a particularly important topic for Surrey, which has one of British Colombia's youngest populations, with nearly one-third of its residents under the age of 18. Woodall and Fund addressed implications of the ongoing changes in world economies and the opportunities resulting from those changes.

“The annual Summit has helped cement Surrey’s role as an economic leader in our province and country,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “In order to continue to create a strong investment climate and a powerful economy, it’s important to have a discussion about the opportunities and challenges that exist in the global marketplace. This year’s Summit once again attracted local and international leaders who will help position our city for the future as we create B.C.’s next urban centre.”

“Our ability to take advantage of economic opportunities here at home and around the world is helped by our being as informed as possible about global economic issues and the hearing from political and business leaders around the world,” said Councillor Linda Hepner, Co-Chair of the Summit.

For more information about the Summit, visit

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Media contact:
Tara Foslien