Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat is departing on a 12-day trade mission to China, Korea and Japan on Nov. 4, leading a delegation of companies and organizations from some of B.C.’s key economic sectors: seafood, agrifoods and international education.
This is Wat’s second trip to Asia, after joining Premier Christy Clark on the fourth jobs and trade mission in November 2013. This trip builds on the success of last year’s mission by strengthening B.C.’s relationships with government partners and promoting the province’s competitive advantages in meetings with key investors in priority sectors.
China is B.C.’s second-largest export market, worth $6.6 billion in 2013, a result of the B.C. government’s continued efforts to increase its presence in China and build strong trade ties. Promoting B.C. seafood will be a key element of Wat’s visit to China as she leads a delegation of 15 B.C. seafood companies to the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo, China’s largest business-oriented fish and seafood show, on Nov. 6.
When Wat arrives in South Korea, it will be the first official visit by a Minister of International Trade from a Canadian jurisdiction since the signing of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) on Sept. 22, 2014.
South Korea is B.C.’s fourth-largest export market, and with over half of Canadian goods exports to Korea originating from British Columbia last year, the CKFTA is expected to generate a positive economic impact on the province’s economy by helping to increase exports and create jobs. This trade mission will highlight the benefits of the CKFTA for B.C. companies doing business in South Korea, especially in the liquefied natural gas, seafood and agrifoods sectors. It will also highlight to Korean companies the benefits of investing in B.C. and establishing a North American head office in the province.
Japan is a long-standing investor in the B.C. economy, with investments in sectors ranging from lumber, pulp and paper, construction, and mining operations, to investment in the hotel and tourism sector. The Trade and Investment Representative office in Tokyo, which has operated since 2007, is the centre of B.C.’s programs in Japan. Members of the Tokyo team have built an extensive network in Japan, helping British Columbia businesses capitalize on shared business opportunities across the country.
Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia’s strategy to diversify its international trading partners and secure new investment, propelling economic activity and job creation throughout the province.
Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat -
“This trade mission is about building and strengthening the connections we have made on past trade missions, with a focus on promoting B.C.’s competitive advantages in Korea, now that the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement has been signed.”
“Because of the work we have done to diversify B.C.’s markets, China, Japan and Korea have grown to be our second-, third- and fourth-largest trading partners. That’s why it’s so important for us to continue to build ties with Asia - focusing on these markets is a crucial part of growing the B.C. economy and creating more jobs for British Columbians.”
- As of Oct. 1, 2014, goods exports to China, South Korea and Japan were up 3.4% to $8.2 billion compared to the same period in 2013.
- Top commodity exports from B.C. to China, Korea and Japan in 2013 were wood products, coal and copper.
- British Columbia has expanded its trade and investment network in China, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan with trade and investment representatives located in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.
Follow the trade mission on Twitter @BCJobsPlan (twitter.com) , #TM2014
For more information about B.C. trade and investment opportunities visit: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/
Learn more about the BC Jobs Plan at: www.bcjobsplan.ca
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of International Trade
Trade mission to China, South Korea and Japan
Participating companies and organizations
Abbotsford school district
BC Council for International Education
BC Salmon Marketing Council
Bodwell High school
Bright Hope Trading
British Columbia Council for International Education
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Canadian Fishing Company
Canadian Pacific Kazunoko Association
Chilliwack school district
College of the Rockies
Coquitlam school district
Delta school district
Dwight school Canada
Fanny Bay Oysters
Fisher Bay Seafood Ltd.
Flying Fresh Air Freight
French Creek Seafood International
Golden Eagle Aquaculture
Gulf Islands Secondary school
Independent Seafood Canada Corporation
Langley school district
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district
Mariner Seafoods International
Mission public school district
New Westminster school district
North Delta Seafood
Northern Divine Caviar
Okanagan-Skaha school district
Pacific Rim Shellfish
Pacific Sea Cucumber Harvesters Association
Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association
Pattison High school
Regent Christian Academy
Thompson Rivers University
Trinity Western University
Underwater Harvesters Association
University of British Columbia
University of the Fraser Valley
University of Victoria
Vancouver Island University
Ministry of International Trade