Trade and investment will soon get easier between British Columbia and the United Kingdom.
Today the B.C. Ministry of International Trade and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment Organisation of the Government of the United Kingdom (“UKTI”) signed a joint statement to establish a relationship framework that will boost the potential benefits stemming from two-way trade and investment, and in anticipation of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat and Lord Livingston of Parkhead, the Minister of State for U.K. Trade and Investment, agreed to establish a formal working relationship with a view to promoting economic growth, trade and innovation.
Features of the joint statement include:
- Sharing information on strategies and programs for maximizing trade development and in-ward investment.
- Facilitating and developing links between the two jurisdictions.
- Hosting relevant in-bound trade missions in both directions.
This joint statement will operate for a five-year period. A contact person from each jurisdiction will be identified to monitor and report annually on progress.
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism -
“The U.K. is one of our top European Union trading partners and we are continuing our work to remove barriers to trade and investment to expand our markets for B.C. goods and services. This joint statement will help pave the way to improve our economic competitiveness in the U.K. and support job creation in the province.”
Lord Livingston of Parkhead, the Minister of State for U.K. Trade and Investment -
“I am really pleased to be signing this joint statement. The U.K. and B.C. are well-established trade partners and this agreement, together with CETA, is set to widen and deepen that partnership. We are always looking for ways to enhance our cooperation and this is another valuable step in that effort.”
- The U.K. is B.C.'s most important EU member-state export destination, with goods exports of $377 million in 2013.
- The U.K. and the EU are B.C.'s largest markets for wood pellet exports.
- The U.K. is an important source of direct foreign investment in B.C. and Canada, ranking second after the United States, and Canadian companies invest heavily in the U.K.
- The U.K. is B.C.'s second largest source of overseas tourists (191,237), just behind China (203,100).
- 1.8 million people in B.C. have British backgrounds (according to Statistics Canada).
- On Feb. 27, 2013, the B.C. government opened a Trade and Investment (TIR) Office for Europe, based in London. The office is co-located with Destination B.C. (formerly Tourism BC) at 1 Great Cumberland Place.
- Check out www.BritishColumbia.ca, the Province’s international-facing website to see what investors and decision-makers in the UK see about our competitive advantages.
- Learn more about the BC Jobs Plan at: www.bcjobsplan.ca
To view the joint statement, please click on the following link: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/downloads/UK%20BC%20Agreement_final_March_26.pdf
Ministry of International Trade
and the Ministry Responsible for the Asia
Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism