05/17/2013 05:00 EDT | Updated 07/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Alberta Trade Offices For India, California Announced By Premier Alison Redford

CALGARY - Alberta Premier Alison Redford will announce new trade offices in California and India today as she rolls out a her new international investment strategy.

A source told The Canadian Press the office in California, likely in San Francisco, will bolster links with the region's high-tech industry, while the office in New Delhi will be the point of contact to expand trade in the rapidly growing economy on the subcontinent.

Alberta already has trade offices around the globe in London, Mexico City, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Munich, Hong Kong, Washington, D.C., and Seoul.

The plan is not without controversy: the opposition NDP has said such offices are poor value for money in a province that is already cutting funding to social programs and post-secondary education.

The NDP calls the trade offices little more than patronage rewards for supporters of Redford's Progressive Conservative party.

But International Relations Minister Cal Dallas has said the offices are key to expanding markets for Alberta products, adding there will be an open competition to select the staff.

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