Premier’s trade mission opens new doors for B.C. economy

Premier Christy Clark has returned from a trade mission to 
Asia where she launched B.C.'s new trade and investment office in the 
Philippines, promoted B.C.'s LNG sector and supported a delegation of 
more than 80 business representatives from a wide cross section of key 
BC Jobs Plan sectors.
   "This mission had two priorities - expanding B.C.'s trade presence in 
Southeast Asia and strengthening B.C.'s trade relationships in existing 
priority markets in South Korea and Japan," said Premier Clark. "The 
business-to-business announcements that took place on this mission 
demonstrate Asia's growing interest in B.C. clean technology, 
information and communications technology and international education, 
helping to drive economic growth and job creation at home in B.C."
Premier Clark announced the official opening of B.C.'s 12th trade and 
investment representative office, located in Manila, the Philippines, 
which is part of commitments in the BC Jobs Plan and Raising our Game 
in Asia: The BC Jobs Plan Trade Strategy to expand B.C.'s trade 
presence into key markets. This office gives British Columbia 
unprecedented on-the-ground access to the Southeast Asian market, 
opening doors for new trade and investment between British Columbia and 
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
    B.C.'s liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector will benefit from the renewal 
of an agreement between the B.C. government and the Japan Oil, Gas and 
Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) on energy co-operation and 
engagement. JOGMEC is investing in four LNG and natural gas projects 
under development in the province - the Cordova Embayment, the Cutbank 
Ridge Partnership, Pacific NorthWest LNG and Aurora LNG.
The trade mission involved 17 business announcements and signings, 
several of which were in the technology and international education 
sectors. They include: * Incognito Software Inc. is establishing its technical operations in 
the Asia Pacific region with the ongoing set up of an office in Manila. 
During the mission, Incognito Software also signed a contract for the 
sale of software to a major Philippine telecommunication company.
* Royal Roads University and Sookmyung Women's University signed an MOU 
to explore joint development of a masters of arts in leadership program 
as well as curriculum and faculty exchanges to deliver this program. 
The agreement will focus on building leadership for women in both 
institutions and bring together B.C. and Korean students in a common 
learning environment where they will earn a joint degree. 
* B.C.-based Apivio Systems, a leading provider of voice over Internet 
Protocol (VoIP) solutions signed a letter of intent with Japan-based 
NEC Corporation to develop a next generation Android-based smart desk 
phone platform for global distribution. NEC is a leading provider of 
innovative information technology, network and communications 
solutions. "International research agreements enable UBC to establish vital 
relationships that help fuel B.C.'s knowledge economy," said Dr. Martha 
Piper, interim president of UBC. "Such agreements make it possible for 
us to collaborate with and learn from other countries as we work 
together on solutions to global challenges." 
In Japan and South Korea, representatives from the B.C. technology 
sector showcased their companies to dozens of leading investors, 
venture capitalists and companies in two B.C. technology investment 
seminars. These seminars help B.C. companies make personal connections 
with potential partners and investors to set the groundwork for more 
trade and investment deals in the future. Premier Clark took this 
opportunity to also encourage the Japanese and South Korean investors 
to continue to explore investment opportunities in B.C. at the #BCTECH 
Summit 2017. Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia's BC Jobs Plan 
strategy to diversify international trading partners and secure new 
investment, and help propel economic activity and job creation 
throughout the province.