Premier begins trade mission to Asia


Premier Christy Clark along with 78 representatives from the private sector will begin a trade mission in Asia which will last from May 23-31st. They team will be visiting South Korea, Philippines, and Japan. It is the governments hope to open new trade doors in the Philippines.  Growing LNG exports will be a major push in both South Korea and Japan. “This trade mission is about developing new trade and investment opportunities with Japan and Korea, while looking at what the future holds in Southeast Asia as we develop a stronger trade presence in the Philippines,” said Premier Clark.

The businesses that are joining the premier have a wide range of specialties from international education, to LNG and digital media. These trade missions fall in line with the BC jobs plan especially LNG advocacy. The Northern BC economy has seen LNG play a bigger part year over year.

Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will most likely also be a big part of the talks. The TPP is currently in ratification process with the government of Canada currently looking at whether to ratify. The former Harper Government negotiated the TPP on behalf of Canada. The TPP is expected to grow BC exports by $350 million according to the government of BC.

Justin Trudeau is also currently in Japan as well making pitches to Japanese automakers to invest in Canada. Japan was at one time Canada's second largest trading partner. Now our biggest Asian trading partner is China, which has seen in the last couple years an economic slowdown, and a series of market troubles.

According to the Observatory for Economic Complexity (OEC) by MIT exports in 2014 had Japan make up 2.6% ($11.7 billion), South Korea 1.5% ($6.4 billion), and the Philippines .25% ($1.11 billion) of Canada's total exports. Canada's biggest trading partners are the USA at 55% ($242 billion), and China 11% ($50.6 billion).

By Grant Bachand (Twitter) @grantbachand