NEWS RELEASE · 21st May 2010
Office of the Premier
The final stage of the tripartite trade mission to Asia by Premier Gordon Campbell and Premiers Wall and Stelmach to promote the economic advantages and investment opportunities of Canada's New West Partnership wrapped up today in Tokyo.
"Whether in Japan or China, the reaction to Western Canada and British Columbia has been the same - companies and investors like what we have to offer and want to do business with us," said Premier Campbell. "As Canada's Pacific Gateway, British Columbia has much to gain from increasing its trading relationship with Asia, including Japan. By joining forces with Alberta and Saskatchewan, we can be even more effective attracting investment and opportunity."
The Japan visit was highlighted by a Western Provinces luncheon for more than 250 corporate and business leaders, Japanese government officials, and members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan. The three premiers championed Western Canada's stable economy and diverse investment opportunities - highlighting clean energy and green technology, agriculture, natural resources including natural gas and oil, wood products along with the integrated Gateway transportation program.
While in Japan the Premiers Campbell, Wall and Stelmach met with senior officials from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Canadian ambassador to Japan also hosted an executive networking reception for the three premiers at his residence. This reception was attended by some 70 senior corporate executives and government officials.
In addition to participating in the joint activities, Premier Campbell hosted a BC Alumni reception attended by more than 100 people, had meetings with senior officials from Mitsubishi, Nippon Cable, and video game and new media company Square Enix. The Premier also announced a partnership between the BC Cancer Agency, the Vancouver Prostate Centre and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd in the fight against prostate, breast and ovarian cancers.
Canada's three most western provinces combined for $19.8 billion in exports to Asia in 2009 - a 41 per cent increase from 2000. This included $6.6 billion in total exports to China and $5.8 billion to Japan in 2009.
To help promote British Columbia as a destination for trade and investment along with helping B.C.-based companies connect to overseas opportunities, the Province has established its own network of six trade and investment office in Asia, including one in Japan.