VICTORIA, April 14, 2014 – British Columbia and China signed a historic agreement Monday to deepen their mutually beneficial trade, investment and cultural connections.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by B.C. Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat and Liu Fei, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver.
The Ministry of International Trade and the Consulate General agreed to establish a formal series of high-level dialogues and exchanges to build upon the foundation of friendly people-to-people, community and business relations that exist between British Columbia and China.
Features of the MOU include:
* B.C. and China will seek to improve market access by exchanging information about trade and investment opportunities, and government, institutional and business sector programs and practices in each other’s markets and sectors.
* Hosting trade and investment missions in both directions.
* Encouraging business and investor participation in each other’s trade and investment promotion forums and matching activities.
* Facilitating contacts and networking opportunities for British Columbian and Chinese business leaders and investors.
* The participants will also look to promote cultural understanding and friendly people-to-people and community relations by highlighting and promoting existing and new British Columbia-China sister city and sister province relationships.
* Collaborating on community outreach efforts to increase awareness of the importance and value of the China-Canada relationship.
The MOU identifies initial sectors for co-operation, including natural resources (natural gas, forestry, mining); agri-foods; technology, clean technology and the green economy; international education; transportation infrastructure, and tourism. The agreement will operate for a three-year period with automatic renewal. A contact person from each jurisdiction will be selected to monitor and report annually on progress.
Attending the MOU signing ceremony were representatives from some of the most promising sectors in the B.C./China bi-lateral relationship, as well as community leaders, including:
* Finance (HSBC) Canadian Headquarters in Vancouver
* Port Metro Vancouver
* Aerospace Engineering/Innovation
* Chinese Canadian Community.
China is British Columbia’s second-largest trading partner and is identified as a priority market in the BC Jobs Plan. In 2013, B.C.’s exports to China* were valued at $6.8 billion, an increase of 14 per cent over 2012. Trade and investment outreach activities in China are supported by British Columbia’s expanded network of international trade and investment representative offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
* www.BritishColumbia.ca connects B.C.companies and communities with international opportunities and promotes our competitive advantagesto investors and decision makers around the world.
* Learn more about the BC Jobs Plan at www.bcjobsplan.ca
* All trade statistics for China include Hong Kong.