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