Record export numbers to the Pacific Rim in 2011
Economy, Multiculturalism Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:00 AM

VICTORIA - The increasing value of British Columbia's economic ties to Asia and the Pacific Rim were underscored in last Friday's year-end export numbers.

Goods shipped to China and South Korea hit record levels and, for the first time, export levels to the Pacific Rim outstripped those to the United States. B.C.'s total exports grew 14.2 per cent to $32.8 billion in 2011.

Exports to key Asian markets identified in 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan' were up considerably in 2011. Last year, B.C.'s exports to China reached $5.1 billion, an increase of 24 per cent from 2010 - and a 442 per cent increase since 2001. Goods shipped to Japan rose by 12 per cent to $4.7 billion last year, while those to South Korea were up by 45 per cent to $2.7 billion. Exports to India rose by 49 per cent to $201 million.

In 2011, the value of exports destined for the Pacific Rim was 43 per cent, up from 36 per cent in 2009. This represents the first time that export levels to the Pacific Rim were higher than those to the United States (42.7 per cent).

The BC Jobs Plan builds on the province's increasing trade with Asia by focusing on opening and expanding markets for B.C. goods in key markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, and India, and making smart investments in the infrastructure that will help get B.C. goods to market. In the past year, the government has doubled B.C.'s international trade presence and made strategic investments in the province's port infrastructure.

After analyzing national numbers, energy products topped the list, closely followed by forestry. Energy exports accounted for 31 per cent of all exports and were worth $10 billion, an increase of 25 per cent. The forestry sector continued its strong recovery, shipping $9.9 billion of solid wood and pulp and paper products in 2011, an increase of nine per cent. The export of metallic mineral products jumped by 11.6 per cent to $3.5 billion.

Quick Facts:

The top five markets for British Columbia's exports of goods in 2011 were:

  • United States: $14 billion - 5.4 per cent increase
  • China/Hong Kong: $5.1 billion - 24 per cent increase
  • Japan: $4.7 billion - 11.7 per cent increase
  • South Korea: $2.7 billion - 45 per cent increase
  • European Union: $2.3 billion - 14.6 per cent increase

Learn More:

Statistics Canada: International Merchandise Trade, Sept. 2011:

BC Stats: Monthly Export Data Table:

Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan:


Sheldon Johnson
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
250 213-5811

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