British Columbia is expanding its presence in the quickly growing Southeast Asian region by opening a new trade and investment representative office in the Philippines, announced Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton on behalf of Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat today.
The expansion of B.C.’s trade presence into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region is part of the Province’s soon-to-be announced new Asia trade strategy. A presence in ASEAN will put B.C. on the doorstep of an economy that’s valued at $2.4-trillion and has annual growth forecasts above 5% for the next five years.
A trade presence in the Philippines will help B.C. companies identify and capitalize on new trade and investment opportunities in a market that is experiencing significant economic growth itself. The Asia Development Bank forecasts GDP growth of 6.3% in the Philippines in 2016, up from 6% in 2015. Since the launch of the BC Jobs Plan in 2011, exports to the Philippines have grown 48% and B.C. has emerged as the largest provincial exporter to the Philippines, with 41% of national exports in 2014.
The establishment of this trade and investment representative office will also coincide with ASEAN launching its own economic association, the ASEAN Economic Community, which will be established in early 2016. This association will create the world’s seventh-largest single market of 600 million people.
This will be B.C.’s 12th international trade representative office, building on the BC Jobs Plan commitment to double B.C.’s international presence. The trade and investment representatives (TIRs) who staff these offices connect B.C. businesses with new markets and trade opportunities and promote British Columbia as a stable and attractive destination for investment.
In 2014-15, TIRs played a critical role in facilitating and supporting more than 160 inbound and outbound international missions involving B.C. companies and organizations and helped facilitate 271 international business agreements – almost quadruple the target of 60.
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade –
“The Philippines represents a huge opportunity to grow B.C. exports and attract investment to our province and that’s why we’ve made it a key priority market. By expanding B.C.'s export capacity, attracting investments that grow B.C.'s key sectors, and growing economic relationships in Asia and in the ASEAN region specifically, we can create more jobs for British Columbians.”
Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice –
“British Columbia has well-established cultural ties with the Philippines. The seeds of international trade begin with cultural connections and enduring personal relationships.”
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services –
“The British Columbia Filipino community is a powerful ally for our economy. The opening of this formal office is building on our strong personal relationships."
- B.C. currently has 11 trade and investment representative offices based in Japan, Korea, India, China, Europe and the United States.
- ASEAN is an economic region made up of the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- According to a Bloomberg survey of economists, five ASEAN nations are among the 20 fastest growing economies in the world – the Philippines (2nd), Indonesia (5th), Malaysia (7th), Thailand (9th) and Singapore (20th).
- As a single entity, ASEAN forms Asia’s third largest economy after China and Japan and is the fourth largest import market in the world.
To learn more about trade and investment opportunities in B.C. visit: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca
Find out how international trade is creating new jobs in British Columbia: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca