Premier Christy Clark and a delegation of B.C. business representatives were joined by a large audience of senior Philippine business leaders and government officials to mark the grand opening of the new B.C. Trade and Investment Representative Office in Manila while on her trade mission to South Korea, the Philippines and Japan.
The new office in Manila is B.C.’s first office in Southeast Asia. It will support B.C. companies seeking to do business in the Philippines and will help Philippine companies find investment opportunities in B.C. The Philippines is the centre of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and a strategic location for B.C. to begin establishing an on-the-ground presence in Southeast Asia.
“We are positioning B.C. to capitalize on the many opportunities in the Philippines, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” said Premier Clark. “The office opening marks a new chapter in B.C.’s relationship with the Philippines, supporting increased flow of goods, services, ideas and people between our two jurisdictions.”
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Manila, Eva Yazon was introduced as the managing director of the new trade and investment representative office. Yazon was selected through a request for proposal process and joins the office following a career as a business development manager with Austrade, the Australian government’s trade and investment promotion agency.
With the opening of the Philippines trade and investment office, B.C. now has 12 such offices located around the world. 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.
Premier Clark also met with representatives of the Ayala Corporation to encourage the business conglomerate to expand its investment in B.C. and to establish a North American head office in Vancouver. To date, Ayala’s subsidiary Ayala Land has made real estate investments in the province and Ayala subsidiary Globe Telecom has conducted business with a number of B.C. technology firms.
While in Manila, Premier Clark visited the historic Rizal Park and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony, paying respect to Philippine national hero José Rizal. Rizal, a poet, journalist, doctor and activist, was executed in 1896, which precipitated the Philippine Revolution against the Kingdom of Spain.
Premier Clark also visited the University of Santo Tomas to meet students who are going to British Columbia to take part in a University of British Columbia summer program, another example of the close people-to-people and cultural ties between B.C. and the Philippines.
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.
- There are more than 135,000 British Columbians who identify as Filipino.
- The Philippines is among the fastest-growing economies in the world, with GDP growth of 6.3% expected in 2016.
- B.C. is the top Canadian provincial exporter to the Philippines, with $190 million in exports in 2015.
- The Province has 12 Trade and Investment offices based in Japan (1), South Korea (1), India (3), China (4), Europe (1), the United States (1) and the Philippines (1).
- B.C. trade and investment representatives played a key role in facilitating and supporting more than 160 inbound and outbound trips involving B.C. companies and organizations in 2014-15.
For more information on the Premier’s trade mission to Korea, the Philippines and Japan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/trade-mission-to-korea-the-philippines-and-japan
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.