B.C. Premier Christy Clark has returned from a trade mission to Asia where she launched B.C.’s new trade and investment office in the Philippines, promoted B.C.’s LNG sector, and supported a delegation of more than 80 business representatives from a wide cross section of key B.C. Jobs Plan sectors.
“This mission had two priorities – expanding B.C.’s trade presence in Southeast Asia and strengthening B.C.’s trade relationships in existing priority markets in South Korea and Japan,” said Clark. “The business-to-business announcements that took place on this mission demonstrate Asia’s growing interest in B.C. clean technology, information and communications technology and international education, helping to drive economic growth and job creation at home in B.C.”
Clark announced the official opening of B.C.’s 12th trade and investment representative office, located in Manila, the Philippines, which is part of commitments in the BC Jobs Plan and Raising our Game in Asia: The BC Jobs Plan Trade Strategy to expand B.C.’s trade presence into key markets.
The Manila office gives British Columbia unprecedented on-the-ground access to the Southeast Asian market, opening doors for new trade and investment between British Columbia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
B.C.’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector will benefit from the renewal of an agreement between the B.C. government and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) on energy co-operation and engagement. JOGMEC is investing in four LNG and natural gas projects under development in the province – the Cordova Embayment, the Cutbank Ridge Partnership, Pacific NorthWest LNG and Aurora LNG.
The trade mission involved 17 business announcements and signings, several of which were in the technology and international education sectors.
One is Incognito Software Inc., which is establishing its technical operations in the Asia Pacific region with the ongoing set up of an office in Manila. During the mission, Incognito Software also signed a contract for the sale of software to a major Philippine telecommunication company.
Royal Roads University and Sookmyung Women’s University signed an MOU to explore joint development of a masters of arts in leadership program as well as curriculum and faculty exchanges to deliver this program. The agreement will focus on building leadership for women in both institutions and bring together B.C. and Korean students in a common learning environment where they will earn a joint degree.
B.C.-based Apivio Systems, a leading provider of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions signed a letter of intent with Japan-based NEC Corporation to develop a next generation Android-based smart desk phone platform for global distribution. NEC is a leading provider of innovative information technology, network and communications solutions.
“International research agreements enable UBC to establish vital relationships that help fuel B.C.’s knowledge economy,” said Dr. Martha Piper, interim president of UBC. “Such agreements make it possible for us to collaborate with and learn from other countries as we work together on solutions to global challenges.”
In Japan and South Korea, representatives from the B.C. technology sector showcased their companies to dozens of leading investors, venture capitalists and companies in two B.C. technology investment seminars. These seminars help B.C. companies make personal connections with potential partners and investors to set the groundwork for more trade and investment deals in the future. Premier Clark took this opportunity to also encourage the Japanese and South Korean investors to continue to explore investment opportunities in B.C. at the #BCTECH Summit 2017.
Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia’s BC Jobs Plan strategy to diversify international trading partners and secure new investment, and help propel economic activity and job creation throughout the province.