British Columbia is moving to strengthen and diversify trade in Asian markets in order to grow the economy. Through a new Asia trade strategy, the Province will be opening trade and investment representative offices in Southeast Asia, developing a new strategy for India and expanding its activities in mid-size Chinese cities.
Through the actions identified in Raising Our Game in Asia: The BC Jobs Plan Trade Strategy:
- B.C. companies will be better equipped to export their goods and services,
- Communities and First Nations will have direct assistance to attract investment; and,
- B.C. industry sectors will have more access to emerging Asian markets.
As part of the Province’s plan to grow trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick on behalf of Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat today announced that British Columbia will establish a trade and investment representative office in Indonesia. This comes on the heels of a Dec. 4th announcement that the B.C. government is opening a new trade and investment representative office in the Philippines.
A B.C. trade presence in Southeast Asia will provide a platform for B.C. companies to take advantage of the many trade and investment opportunities created by ASEAN’s growing economy, as well as those that would emerge under a ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which includes the ASEAN countries of Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.
In addition to the new trade offices in Southeast Asia, the strategy points to new services that will be available to B.C. companies, such as a streamlined service to help small- and medium- sized businesses become export ready and get their goods to market, and an Asian business literacy project in partnership with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada to help businesses understand the cultural and regulatory landscape in Asia.
This strategy expands on the work of the BC Jobs Plan to grow trade and investment with priority markets in Asia. Since September 2011, the BC Jobs Plan has been building on the strengths of B.C.’s most competitive sectors utilizing its educated and skilled workforce.
The province is investing $670,000 in 2015-16 for the establishment of its ASEAN presence, with future funding requirements to be determined in the 2016-17 budget.
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism –
“The global market is changing and British Columbia is adapting so we can take advantage of new trade agreements and build stronger ties to some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
“This strategy will build on earlier work and will be our roadmap for increasing trade and investment in Asia and creating jobs for British Columbians.”
Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture –
“Raising our Game in Asia recognizes that B.C. has strengths across a variety of key jobs plan sectors, including agrifoods, where export opportunities in Southeast Asia and China’s secondary cities are ripe for the picking.
“We want to help small- and medium-sized businesses reach those markets. We also want to put these businesses and their communities on the map for potential investors.
“That’s what this strategy is about – attracting new investment, growing B.C. businesses and ultimately, creating new jobs for British Columbians.”
Stewart Beck, president and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada –
"The rise of Asia marks one of the defining shifts of the 21st century. How British Columbia responds and positions itself to take advantage of this shift will shape its future.
“By 2030, Asia is projected to represent between 45 and 50% of the world’s GDP and 66% of the world’s middle class.
“Raising Our Game in Asia: The BC Jobs Plan Trade Strategy better equips B.C. companies with the support and access they need to effectively engage with this dynamic and diverse region.”
- B.C. currently has 11 trade and investment offices based in Japan, Korea, India, China, Europe and the United States.
- B.C.’s network of trade and investment offices has played a key role in facilitating foreign direct investment and trade, and supported more than 160 inbound and outbound international missions involving B.C. companies and organizations in 2014-15.
- ASEAN is an economic region made up of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, 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.
Raising Our Game in Asia: The BC Jobs Plan Trade Strategy here: www.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplantradestrategy
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