A successful mission to Japan and Korea has concluded, generating opportunities for more jobs for British Columbians and a stronger economy.
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, and George Chow, Minister of State for Trade, strengthened trade relationships during more than two dozen meetings and events on their recent six-day trade mission.
“On this visit, we showed key people in these countries that the Government of British Columbia is committed to building our trade relationships and attracting new investors to the province,” said Ralston. “Increased exports mean better jobs for families. This mission will help create more opportunities across all of B.C.”
Mission activities focused on promoting new trade opportunities in Japan under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and in Korea through the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).
The ministers’ visit included a series of meetings with government officials and industry representatives to showcase B.C.’s potential in clean energy, clean technology, digital media, information and communications technology (ICT), agrifoods and tourism.
Chow’s mission program focused on promoting B.C.’s strengths in the agrifoods sector through a roundtable discussion with three Japanese agrifoods companies and through meetings with other companies, such as Costco Japan, Lotte Home Shopping and Elbon International in Korea.
“Holding in-person meetings with key decision makers is an excellent way for us to raise B.C.’s profile as a good, stable place to do business,” said Chow. “Following this mission, I expect B.C. will continue to see increased trade and investment with Japan and Korea.”
The ministers held several meetings promoting B.C.’s potential in the ICT sector. During the mission, Korea’s largest mobile network service provider, SK Telecom, announced a project to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology from Burnaby-based Quadrant, the machine-learning business unit of D-Wave Systems. This commercial project will lead to closer and strategic co-operation in AI between B.C. and Korea.
“These projects would not have been possible without the high-quality service of the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology and its office in Seoul,” said Handol Kim, Quadrant’s general manager. “They were instrumental in introducing this business opportunity to Quadrant.”
- Japan is B.C.’s third-largest trading partner, with $5.1 billion in goods exports in 2018.
- B.C.’s total exports to Japan are more than double that of the next leading Canadian province.
- The CPTPP went into effect in December 2018 for the first five countries to ratify, including Canada.
- South Korea is B.C.’s fourth-largest goods export market, with $2.9 billion in exports in 2018.
- The CKFTA went into effect in January 2015, helping to strengthen B.C. and South Korea’s thriving two-way trade relationship that totals billions of dollars every year – particularly in the natural resources, agrifoods and seafood, international education and technology sectors.
- B.C. has 17 trade and investment representative offices in key markets around the globe, including six in East Asia, that support business missions and trade events and help connect B.C. companies with new economic opportunities.
A backgrounder on highlights from the mission follows.
To read this release in traditional Chinese, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Mission_Wrap_Up_Chinese_Traditional.pdf
To read this release in Korean, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Mission_Wrap_Up_Korean.pdf
To read this release in Punjabi, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Mission_Wrap_Up_Punjabi.pdf