Premier John Horgan will be travelling to China, South Korea and Japan for 10 days in January to enhance relationships and expand economic ties with three of British Columbia’s largest trading partners.
“Building a strong, sustainable economy means working with global partners to enhance trade and generate good jobs for people in B.C.,” said Premier Horgan. “Our province is open, inclusive and competitive, and we welcome the movement of people and the advancement of economic and cultural connections between our nations. This trip to Asia will strengthen ties with governments, business partners and the broader community, which will bring economic benefits to communities throughout B.C.”
Premier Horgan will promote bilateral relationships between British Columbia and key government and business leaders and will be accompanied in all three countries by Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston and Minister of State for Trade George Chow. Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare will be participating in the China portion of the mission to foster tourism opportunities in support of the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism.
“This mission to China, South Korea and Japan is about establishing new government-to-government relationships and expressing that B.C. is open to international business,” said Ralston. “Instead of looking to one sector to create jobs, we’re working to strengthen traditional industries like forestry, energy and mining, while supporting the small business, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and tech sectors.”
The 10-day trip, from Jan. 20-30, 2018, will be the Premier and ministers’ first visit to Asia and will include speaking engagements and meetings with government and business leaders to create a broader awareness of B.C.’s strengths in energy, natural resources, low-carbon development, technology and innovation.
“B.C. has a longstanding connection with Asia, including with our two sister provinces, Guangdong, China, and Gyeonggi, South Korea – and our government would like to see this continue,” said Chow. “We’re taking every opportunity to deepen cultural, family and business connections to strengthen our trade relationships.”
“2018 has been announced as the Canada-China Year of Tourism,” said Beare. “China is one of our province’s most important growing markets for tourism. I look forward to working with our partners in China as we develop opportunities to attract even more visitors from China to our province, create closer ties and deepen strategic partnerships between our two countries.”
- In 2016, British Columbia’s goods exported to China totalled $5.9 billion, making China B.C.’s second-largest export market.
- In 2016, China was also Canada’s second-largest export destination, with 4.3% of Canadian goods shipped there.
- The 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism was launched by the governments of Canada and China to celebrate and promote tourism opportunities.
- China is a burgeoning market for tourism, with a 22% increase in overnight visits to B.C. in 2016 over 2015.
- Tourism visits to British Columbia from residents of China, South Korea and Japan in 2016 were:
- Mainland China: 312,668 overnight customs entries. This has more than tripled since 2009, and Mainland China is now B.C.’s second-largest market, after the United States.
- Japan: 151,535 overnight customs entries. This is B.C.’s third-largest Asia-Pacific market after China and Australia.
- South Korea: 108,903 overnight customs entries. This is B.C.’s fourth-largest Asia-Pacific market.
- Canada and South Korea share a thriving, two-way trade relationship totalling billions every year – particularly in the natural resource sector, agrifoods and seafood, international education, technology and tourism.
- In 2016, B.C.’s exports to South Korea were $2.2 billion in goods, accounting for 51% of total Canadian exports to Korea.
- Japan is B.C.’s third-largest trading partner, at $3.7 billion in goods exports in 2016. B.C.’s total exports to Japan, which are primarily commodities, are nearly double that of the next leading Canadian province.