VICTORIA - Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, is confident that the new Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement will provide a framework through which greater economic prosperity will come for British Columbians and British Columbian companies.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Hu Jintao, President of China, witnessed the signing of the agreement at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia.
"Our government continues to believe that expanding our economic relationship with China will lead to greater prosperity, and more jobs, in British Columbia. Our premier is there right at this moment delivering that message."
This agreement helps us move closer to our goal of enhanced economic and trade relations with China by promoting Chinese investment in British Columbia and providing more protection for British Columbia companies investing in China, which can lead to more exports and jobs.
Canada and China's commitment to further expand bilateral trade and investment is also demonstrated in the joint Canada-China Economic Complementarities Study, released last month, which identifies a number of important prospects for growth. This investment agreement is an important step towards British Columbia deepening and strengthening our trade, investment and cultural ties with China.
China is B.C.'s second-largest trading partner and the second-biggest economy in the world. Goods shipped from British Columbia to China rose to $5.1 billion last year, a 24 per cent increase over 2010.
Overall, B.C. has enjoyed phenomenal success in Asia, and exports to the key markets identified in Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan - China, Japan, India and South Korea - rose 23.3 per cent in 2011 over the previous year. In 2011, the value of exports destined for the Pacific Rim was 43 per cent, up from 36 per cent in 2009. This represents the first time that export levels to the Pacific Rim were higher than those to the United States (42.7 per cent). However, even greater potential exists for further growth in these markets.
Go to www.BritishColumbia.ca to find out about B.C's international trade and investment representative offices around the world.
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training