[Updated May 15, 2012]
TOKYO, Japan - On her first full day in Tokyo as part of the second Jobs and Trade Mission, Premier Christy Clark sold the benefits of investment in British Columbia to both emerging and established industries.
"Recent investments show that countries like Japan are taking advantage of the tremendous natural and intellectual capital found in B.C.," said Premier Clark. "These emerging sectors provide jobs to thousands of British Columbians, jobs that support families across the province."
Premier Clark met with representatives from DeNA, just one of a number of Japanese digital media companies that have set their sights on B.C.'s world-class technology talent. She also met with officials from Mitsubishi, a significant player in the development of B.C.'s burgeoning LNG sector.
DeNA recently opened a Vancouver subsidiary, DeNA Studios Canada Ltd., creating between 35 and 40 new jobs in B.C. They join a number of other internationally recognized video game companies that have chosen to locate offices in Vancouver due to its highly qualified talent pool, including Electronic Arts (EA), Nintendo, Sony Studios and Microsoft, contributing almost 4,000 jobs in Vancouver.
At her meeting with Mitsubishi Corporation, Premier Clark recognized the company's significant investments in B.C. LNG resource development and infrastructure, including the recent $2.9 billion shared investment with Encana Corporation in the Cutbank Ridge property.
The meeting precedes Premier Clark's meeting with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Japan's crown corporation responsible for securing stable supplies of natural gas, at which the Premier will stress the advantages of purchasing LNG from B.C.
The advantages of investment in B.C. were highlighted again at a B.C.-Japan Corporate Lunch when Xstrata Coal and JX Nippon announced a $35-million investment in pre-feasibility activities related to the Suska Coal Project. Imperial Metals announced a three-year extension of its copper concentrate agreement with Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. worth approximately $50 million annually.
"Mining creates great family-supporting jobs for B.C., and our industry does this by ensuring we have customers for our products - including Asian markets," said Mark McManus, executive general manager, Xstrata Coal Canada. "Premier Clark's trade mission allows us to demonstrate B.C.'s commitment to delivering high quality resources."
At the Corporate Lunch, Premier Clark highlighted B.C.'s strong cultural and economic relationship with Japan as well as the province's competitive tax rates and wealth of human and natural resources. In 2011, B.C. exported $4.7 billion worth of goods to Japan, the third highest export market for B.C.
Premier Clark also met with Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado, to reaffirm the B.C. - Japan relationship and discuss mutual interests, such as education and the arts. The Premier expressed her pleasure at the fact that so many Japanese students have chosen to study in B.C. and encouraged Princess Takamado to visit B.C. again some time in the future.
Finally, Premier Clark met with Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Joe Nokano to affirm and strengthen B.C.'s bilateral relations with Japan and present B.C.'s economic priorities as outlined in the BC Jobs Plan.
- B.C.'s high-tech industry provided 84,000 jobs for British Columbians in 2009, with a record payroll of $5.3 billion, despite the global economic downturn.
- The average high-tech wage in B.C. was $63,440 - more than 52 per cent above the average for all B.C. jobs.
- GDP for the high-tech industry was $9.3 billion in 2009.
- B.C.'s high-tech sector has been one of the province's top revenue performers for many years, nearly doubling between 1997 and 2009, when revenues were $18.9 billion (the most recent data available).
A backgrounder follows.
Trade Mission Key Announcements for Tuesday, May 15
- Nippon Access agreed to retail Natural Glacier Waters product through one of Japan's largest grocery chains.
- Powertech and Tomoe Shokai have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enter into a strategic alliance for the sale of Powertech's hydrogen fuelling stations in Japan. Each fuelling station has a value of some $2 million.
- JX Nippon and Xstrata Coal announced a $35 million pre-feasibility study of the Suska Coal Project, located between Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd.
- Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and Imperial Metals Corporation revealed a three-year extension of an existing copper concentrate agreement between the two companies worth a total of $150 million.
Stay up to Date with the Trade Mission
During the Jobs and Trade Mission to Japan, Korea and the Philippines, photos, video footage and updates will be readily accessible online.
Media can download raw footage, photos, audio on www.sendtonews.com when it is available.
To view and download photos from the Asia Trade Mission visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjz4PFfy
Follow the Asia Trade Mission at: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/Connect/PremiersMission2012/Pages/PremiersMission.aspx
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation