Building on the momentum of the first Jobs and Trade Mission to China and India, Premier Christy Clark's Jobs and Trade Mission to Japan, Korea and the Philippines focused on promoting British Columbia's natural resources, as well as clean and high technologies to Asian investors.
"Our government knows that we need to keep our economy growing by strengthening and diversifying our trading relationships," said Premier Clark. "Japan and Korea need our vast liquefied natural gas (LNG) resources to meet their energy demands, and we are opening up new markets for our biomass sector creating jobs in places like Prince George and the North Shore.
"And our mining industry continues to garner investor interest creating high-paying, long-term and skilled jobs for B.C. families. We are also being increasingly recognized as a hub of digital-animation technologies, a new and exciting area of trade with Japan and Korea. I was also particularly pleased to be the first B.C. Premier to visit the Philippines and make progress on labour mobility with our Joint Communique."
During the BC Jobs and Trade Mission, 25 business deals and partnership agreements were signed or announced, with a value of over $500 million. Premier Clark attended approximately 40 events and meetings with business and political leaders, including large investors in B.C. such as Mitsubishi Corporation, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), and Korean mining company POSCO. The trip also provided Premier Clark with the opportunity to meet with companies with investments in B.C.'s technology sector, such as DeNA, a mobile game producer, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Japan's largest pharmaceutical company.
Many of the announcements involved B.C.'s clean-energy industry, including an agreement between the Province and Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to co-operate and share information on natural gas activities in B.C., and an agreement between Nelson BioEnergy, Princeton Co-Gen and Korea Welds Co. for the purchase of 6,000 tonnes of wood pellets this year, worth $1.26 million.
"We feel bioenergy is a real growth area for B.C.," said Premier Clark. "It's one that has the potential to provide value-added jobs in areas of the province hit by the pine-beetle epidemic."
Premier Clark's Jobs and Trade Mission coincided with the announcement by Shell Canada Limited, KOGAS, PetroChina Company Limited and Mitsubishi Corporation that they have partnered to jointly develop an LNG facility near Kitimat, which is expected to handle 12 million tonnes of LNG a year and create thousands of jobs for British Columbians. Premier Clark was able to discuss this project with both KOGAS and Mitsubishi in bilateral meetings, and was joined on the mission by representatives of Shell Canada Limited.
"Being able to talk with these companies about their demand for LNG, being able to see first-hand what an LNG facility looks like, and learn how important LNG is to their long-term energy security provided us with such great perspective on the role B.C.'s LNG can play in Japan's future," said Premier Clark.
During the mission, Premier Clark also visited the Philippines, signing a Joint Communiqué with the Philippines' Department of Labor and Employment on areas of mutual benefits with respect to labour mobility. This visit to Manila also gave government the opportunity to strengthen B.C's economic partnership with a country with which a strong cultural relationship already exists.
Other agreements on the trade mission involved B.C.'s mining sector, including a three-year extension of an agreement between Imperial Metals Corporation and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. worth $150 million, and a $35-million investment by JX Nippon Oil for a feasibility study for Xstrata Coal's Suska Project near Dease Lake.
"We are extremely pleased with the outcomes from this trade mission and the ongoing support from the B.C. government," said Brian Kynoch, president, Imperial Metals Corporation. "To have Premier Christy Clark lead this trade mission to open doors, seek new markets and build on current relationships, confirms that British Columbia is a place to do business."
Approximately 104 delegates representing 75 companies, organizations and community groups accompanied the Premier on the BC Jobs and Trade Mission.
"In Asia, it's very important to show that government and companies are working together," said Premier Clark. "That's why our government is proud to work with B.C. organizations to build long-term stable relationships with Asia Pacific that will lead to jobs here at home in British Columbia."
Premier Clark left Vancouver on May 12. While in Japan the mission visited both Sendai and Tokyo. In Korea, the mission made stops in both Seoul and Suwon. Finally, before returning on May 20, Premier Clark led the mission to Manila in the Philippines.
The second BC Jobs and Trade Mission followed a commitment made in 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan' to strengthen existing relationships between B.C. and Asian markets by opening doors for new relationships and setting the stage for future opportunities in Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
A backgrounder follows.
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Tuesday, May 14
- The University of Northern British Columbia and Gakushuin Women's College signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop academic areas of mutual interest. The two are agreeing to establish a relationship to develop study abroad programs, exchange students and faculty members, promote the cooperation in academic activities, and develop other mutually beneficial programs. The schools also launched a new high definition video link between the two campuses.
- The University of Northern British Columbia and the Japan Travel Bureau Business World Tokyo Corporation signed an MOU to promote, encourage, and facilitate the development and internationalization of higher education in B.C.
- Royal Roads University and VIEC International Inc. of Japan signed an MOU toward development and implementation of programs specific to the Japanese market, as well as the promotion of mutual understanding between the two organizations.
- The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan and Canada Japan Society of British Columbia signed an MOU to strengthen co-operation between the two organizations, including exchange of information, work to further improve and expand trade relations, and to promote cooperation among government officials and the business community.
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Tuesday, May 15
- Nippon Access agreed to retail Natural Glaciers Waters product through one of Japan's largest grocery chains.
- Powertech and Tomoe Shokai have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enter into a strategic alliance for the sale of Powertech's hydrogen fuelling stations in Japan. Each fuelling station has a value of some $2 million.
- JX Nippon and Xstrata Coal announced a $35 million pre-feasibility study of the Suska Coal Project, located between Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.
- Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and Imperial Metals Corporation revealed a three-year extension of an existing copper concentrate agreement between the two companies worth a total of $150 million.
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Wednesday, May 16
- The Government of British Columbia and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation signed an MOU covering co-operation and information sharing on natural gas activities in B.C.
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Thursday, May 17
- Canada Wood Group and Best House Korea signed an MOU for the sharing of information on the design and construction of wood-frame houses to be built at Masung Wood Framed Home Community Development Project. It is expected that up to $5 million in B.C. lumber will be purchased for the project.
- UBC and KIST signed an MOU on the implementation of joint research in clean technology and the establishment of a KIST Research Laboratory at UBC.
- RCI Capital/Sustainable Development Technology Canada and TStone Corporation agreed on $300 million worth of matching funding for investment in Canadian clean technology portfolio companies, of which over 30 per cent of the portfolios are B.C. companies.
- British Columbia based Deltalok Group agreed to supply Acciona Energy Korea with the design and construction of permanent structures for the wind power complex in Young Yang County, GyeongBuk Province. The agreement is for 70 units and is valued at $10 million.
- Durae Corporation and Ironwood Clay Company announced an MOU to establish partnership, collaboration and economic development opportunities. Ironwood is a supplier of Marine Mineral Elements water to AmorePacific, the largest cosmetics manufacturer in Korea, through Durae Corporation.
- Hanjin Shipping and Prince Rupert Port Authority celebrated the company's one-year anniversary of shipping to Prince Rupert.
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Friday, May 18
- Royal Roads University and the Institute of International Education at Kookmin University agreed to establish an institutional partnership.
- Nelson Bio Energy (of Vancouver, B.C.) will supply 6,000 tons of B.C. wood pellets produced by Princeton Co-Generation Company (of Princeton, B.C.,) to Korea Welds Company in 2012. In 2013, 10,000 tons will be supplied.
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Saturday, May 19
- The Province of British Columbia and the Republic of the Philippines signed a Joint Communiqué on areas of mutual benefits with respect to labour mobility.
- Aquilini Renewable Energy announced it received approval from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to build, operate and manage a $15-million waste-to-energy gasification plant in the City of Mactan in Cebu Province.
- The Applied Science and Technologists and Technicians of BC and the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table announced the launch of their Training Assessment for Technologists and Technicians Project. The project will pilot a collaborative assessment process for comparing Philippine and Canadian education, as well as training and professional standards in the civil, mechanical and electronics technology occupations.
- Montreux Capital Corp., a BC-based TSX-V company, is acquiring several proprietary banking software assets, including Kowops eCommunity Solutions Phils Inc., a Philippines-based banking software company, in a $1.75-million transaction that will bring modern banking solutions to the underserviced poor in emerging markets.
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To view and download photos from the Asia Trade Mission visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjz4PFfy
Follow the Asia Trade Mission at: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/Connect/PremiersMission2012/Pages/PremiersMission.aspx
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation