Statistics Canada released year-end export figures for 2012 today. British Columbia exported $31.7 billion worth of goods last year, recording sizable increases to China and India, two key markets as the province looks to diversify and expand markets for its products.
Exports to China, British Columbia's second-largest trading partner after the United States, increased to $6 billion, up by 16.4 per cent compared to 2011. Exports to India increased by 59.8 per cent versus 2011, to $321 million.
A sharp rise in housing starts and construction in the United States late last year also resulted in a 1.8 per cent increase in B.C. exports across the border, with wood products up 25.4 per cent to bring the 2012 total to $14.2 billion.
These increased exports to the U.S. and China largely offset weakened demand from Japan, Korea and the European Union. Shipments to Korea were down 30.7 per cent, Japan decreased 10.6 per cent and the EU fell by 22.9 per cent, keeping overall exports of B.C. goods flat, down by 3.2 per cent, compared to 2011.
Today's StatsCan trade and merchandise report is the first since an early December accident at the Westshore Terminals in Delta, North America's largest coal exporting facility. Exports of mineral products in December were down 22 per cent compared to the same month in 2011.
Opening and expanding markets for B.C. goods and services, especially in Asia, and making strategic investments in the infrastructure that will help get those B.C. goods to market are pillars of 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan'.
In that plan, government made a commitment to double the province's overseas presence. Since September 2011, British Columbia's international trade and investment network has grown from 29 people to almost 60 based in priority markets across Asia, Europe and the United States.
This international network connects B.C. businesses with new markets and trade opportunities and promotes British Columbia as a stable and attractive destination for investment, tourists and international students.
See the full Statistics Canada trade merchandise report for December of 2012 by clicking here: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130208/dq130208b-eng.htm
The BC Stats monthly exports report can be found here: https://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/Publications/PeriodicalsReleases.aspx
To find out more about British Columbia's international trade and investment network, visit: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/Pages/Home.aspx
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour