A new trade and investment representative office in Singapore will create new opportunities for B.C. businesses to increase trade, expand investment and develop new partnerships in Southeast Asia.
“British Columbia's trade and investment representatives play a key, on-the-ground role in facilitating trade and investment between B.C. and our priority international markets,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “As a regional hub for Southeast Asia, the new Singapore office will help B.C. companies generate new business opportunities, increase exports and attract investment — in turn, helping to create jobs at home in B.C.”
In 2017, B.C. exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were $940 million, up more than 22% from the previous year.
Not only is Singapore a regional hub for ASEAN businesses, it is an international hub for global trade shows and conferences. Each year, dozens of B.C. companies participate in events such as the Singapore Air Show, ConnecTechAsia, Food Hotel Asia and International Water Week. A strong B.C. presence in this regional hub will create an opportunity to connect B.C. businesses with new markets and trade opportunities, and promote B.C. as a stable and attractive destination for investment.
“Singapore is known as a leading clean-tech hub in Southeast Asia,” said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. “With B.C.’s growing reputation for clean-tech innovation, we have a tremendous opportunity for B.C.-based businesses to form new partnership opportunities in this region.”
Ralston and Chow met with Michael Nicholas, the new Singapore trade and investment representative, an experienced international marketing and business strategist, who has lived and worked in Southeast Asia for more than a decade. Representatives of all seven trade and investment representative office regions are in B.C. this week to discuss global trade and investment opportunities, and meet with economic development and business stakeholders around the province.
B.C.’s new trade and investment representative office in Singapore will highlight B.C.’s advantages and advance B.C.-ASEAN trade and investment ties during its participation at the upcoming Canada-ASEAN Business Forum, March 21–22, 2018, in Singapore, which attracts more than 300 business leaders from Canada and Southeast Asia.
- B.C. has an international presence through a network of about 65 trade and investment representatives in 17 cities around the world.
- B.C. currently has trade and investment representative offices in Japan, South Korea, India, China, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Europe and the United States.
- ASEAN is a regional group promoting economic cooperation and includes: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Canada and ASEAN are party to the Canada-ASEAN Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment (JDTI), which aims to enhance trade and investment between the member nations. In September 2017, Canada and ASEAN member states agreed to launch discussions to explore the potential for a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement.
- In 2016–17, B.C.'s trade and investment representatives facilitated and supported more than 440 inbound and outbound trips involving B.C. companies and organizations.
- The total value of foreign direct investment influenced by ministry programs during 2016–17 was over $2 billion, well exceeding the target of $1.1 billion.
- In 2016–17, the total number of international business agreements facilitated by ministry programs reached 219, exceeding the target of 125.
To view photos of the trade and investment representatives’ meeting with Ralston and Chow, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm4PpnmF
To learn more about B.C.’s trade and investment offices, visit: https://www.britishcolumbia.ca/global/trade-and-investment-representatives/
To learn more about the Canada-ASEAN Business Council and forum, visit: http://www.canasean.com/