Ministers to visit Asia to strengthen ties, advance trade

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Bruce Ralston

Victoria: Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, and George Chow, Minister of State for Trade, will travel to Japan and South Korea March 16-22, 2019, to strengthen trade and investment ties, and to expand economic opportunities for businesses in B.C.
British Columbia is the first Canadian province to send a trade minister to Japan since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) went into effect in December 2018. This mission will open up opportunities for B.C. exporters under the CPTPP and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
“We are travelling to Asia to expand trade with our third- and fourth-largest partners,” said Ralston. “Having trade agreements in place with these two markets gives us unprecedented access and allows us to open doors for B.C. companies, so they can create good jobs for people in B.C.”
Ralston and Chow will meet with key business and government decision-makers to promote B.C.’s capabilities in clean energy and clean technology. They will also promote opportunities in information and communications technology, digital entertainment, tourism and agrifoods. In Korea, the mission will advance B.C.’s sister relationship with Gyeonggi province, known as a hub in East Asia for technology and innovation.
“This mission is about holding meaningful, face-to-face meetings with government and business leaders in Japan and Korea,” said Chow. “The Province is committed to building stronger relationships in Asia to benefit B.C. exporters and companies exploring potential markets overseas.”
Quick Facts:
• Japan is B.C.’s third-largest trading partner at $4.5 billion in goods exports in 2017.
• B.C.’s total exports to Japan are more than double that of the next leading Canadian province.
• Canada ratified the CPTPP in October 2018, making it the fifth of the 11 member countries to do so.
• South Korea is B.C.’s fourth-largest goods export market, with $2.9 billion in exports in 2017.
• Provincial exports to South Korea were $2.9 billion in 2017, accounting for about 55% of total Canadian exports to Korea.
• The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement came into effect in January 2015.
• 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 to new economic opportunities.
• The Province helps B.C. businesses export through the Export Navigator program, which provides personalized guidance, so businesses can get their goods and services to market outside B.C.