BC Premier ends mission with an energy focus
By BC Government
May 24, 2012, Victoria, BC - BC Premier Christy Clark’s Jobs and Trade Mission to Japan, Korea and the Philippines focused on promoting British Columbia’s natural resources, as well as clean and high technologies to Asian investors.
By BC Government
May 24, 2012, Victoria, BC – Building on the momentum of the first Jobs and Trade Mission to China and India, BC Premier Christy Clark’s Jobs and Trade Mission to Japan, Korea and the Philippines focused on promoting British Columbia’s natural resources, as well as clean and high technologies to Asian investors.
“Our government knows that we need to keep our economy growing by strengthening and diversifying our trading relationships,” said Premier Clark. “Japan and Korea need our vast liquefied natural gas (LNG) resources to meet their energy demands, and we are opening up new markets for our biomass sector creating jobs in places like Prince George and the North Shore.
“And our mining industry continues to garner investor interest creating high-paying, long-term and skilled jobs for B.C. families. We are also being increasingly recognized as a hub of digital-animation technologies, a new and exciting area of trade with Japan and Korea. I was also particularly pleased to be the first B.C. Premier to visit the Philippines and make progress on labour mobility with our Joint Communique.”
During the BC Jobs and Trade Mission, 25 business deals and partnership agreements were signed or announced, with a value of over $500 million. Premier Clark attended approximately 40 events and meetings with business and political leaders, including large investors in B.C. such as Mitsubishi Corporation, Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), and Korean mining company POSCO. The trip also provided Premier Clark with the opportunity to meet with companies with investments in B.C.’s technology sector, such as DeNA, a mobile game producer, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company.
Many of the announcements involved B.C.’s clean-energy industry, including an agreement between the Province and Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) to co-operate and share information on natural gas activities in B.C., and an agreement between Nelson BioEnergy, Princeton Co-Gen and Korea Welds Co. for the purchase of 6,000 tonnes of wood pellets this year, worth $1.26 million.
“We feel bioenergy is a real growth area for B.C.,” said Premier Clark. “It’s one that has the potential to provide value-added jobs in areas of the province hit by the pine-beetle epidemic.”
Premier Clark’s Jobs and Trade Mission coincided with the announcement by Shell Canada Limited, KOGAS, PetroChina Company Limited and Mitsubishi Corporation that they have partnered to jointly develop an LNG facility near Kitimat, which is expected to handle 12 million tonnes of LNG a year and create thousands of jobs for British Columbians. Premier Clark was able to discuss this project with both KOGAS and Mitsubishi in bilateral meetings, and was joined on the mission by representatives of Shell Canada Limited.
“Being able to talk with these companies about their demand for LNG, being able to see first-hand what an LNG facility looks like, and learn how important LNG is to their long-term energy security provided us with such great perspective on the role B.C.’s LNG can play in Japan’s future,” said Premier Clark.
During the mission, Premier Clark also visited the Philippines, signing a Joint Communiqué with the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment on areas of mutual benefits with respect to labour mobility. This visit to Manila also gave government the opportunity to strengthen B.C’s economic partnership with a country with which a strong cultural relationship already exists.
Other agreements on the trade mission involved B.C.’s mining sector, including a three-year extension of an agreement between Imperial Metals Corporation and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. worth $150 million, and a $35-million investment by JX Nippon Oil for a feasibility study for Xstrata Coal’s Suska Project near Dease Lake.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcomes from this trade mission and the ongoing support from the B.C. government,” said Brian Kynoch, president, Imperial Metals Corporation. “To have Premier Christy Clark lead this trade mission to open doors, seek new markets and build on current relationships, confirms that British Columbia is a place to do business.”
Approximately 104 delegates representing 75 companies, organizations and community groups accompanied the Premier on the BC Jobs and Trade Mission.
“In Asia, it’s very important to show that government and companies are working together,” said Premier Clark. “That’s why our government is proud to work with B.C. organizations to build long-term stable relationships with Asia Pacific that will lead to jobs here at home in British Columbia.”
Premier Clark left Vancouver on May 12. While in Japan the mission visited both Sendai and Tokyo. In Korea, the mission made stops in both Seoul and Suwon. Finally, before returning on May 20, Premier Clark led the mission to Manila in the Philippines.
The second BC Jobs and Trade Mission followed a commitment made in ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’ to strengthen existing relationships between B.C. and Asian markets by opening doors for new relationships and setting the stage for future opportunities in Japan, Korea and the Philippines.