B.C. opens new doors in Asia for more jobs, eco­nomic growth

Asian Journal - - British Columbia -

Vic­to­ria: 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 rep­re­senta- tive 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 medi­um­sized 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 said, “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 said, “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 medi­um­sized busi­nesses reach those mar­kets. We also want to put th­ese busi­nesses and their com­mu­ni­ties on the map for po­ten­tial in­vestors.

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