10 September 2012

British Columbia to Open Trade and Investment Office in Hong Kong

Hong Kong - Premier Christy Clark announced a new trade and investment office will be opened in Hong Kong to increase British Columbia's economic ties with the global financial centre. 

"British Columbia is Canada's Gateway to the Pacific, and we look forward to building on our already strong business and cultural connections with Hong Kong," said Premier Clark. "China is British Columbia's second-largest trading partner and is a vital and growing market for our products, services and resources, particularly natural gas." 

A trade and investment representative (TIR) will be in place in the new Hong Kong office by mid-November and will be focused on attracting investment from the financial centre. The trade and investment representative will: 
  • Provide immediate local market knowledge, access to large networks of key influencers within government and industry. 
  • Provide language and business cultural skills to attract investment. 
  • Connect B.C. businesses with new markets and opportunities
British Columbia's Hong Kong representative will work in conjunction with B.C.'s trade and investment representatives in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. 

The Hong Kong financial sector is a key investor in a range of economic activities in British Columbia such as real estate and natural gas. Last year, Hong Kong overtook the United States and the United Kingdom to top the World Economic Forum's Financial Development Report, becoming the first Asian financial centre to achieve this rank. Hong Kong's rise has been tied to financial services such as initial-public-offering activity and insurance, making it the world's 10th-largest trading economy. Its most significant trading partner is mainland China. 

The office opening was announced at a Friends of BC luncheon in Hong Kong today as part of the Premier's first official visit to the city. One in 13 households in Hong Kong includes a Canadian citizen, many of whom have close ties to British Columbia

A key pillar of Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan is the opening and expanding of markets for the province's goods and services across Asia and the attraction of investment to grow B.C.'s eight priority sectors and spur domestic job growth. To support this strategy, British Columbia will double its international presence by March 2013, accelerating direct investment attraction by marketing the province's competitive advantages and world-class business environment. 

British Columbia currently has international trade and investment representatives (TIRs) under contract in nine locations: Asia (Tokyo, Japan; Bangalore, India; Seoul, South Korea; and Beijing, Shanghai and Guongzhou, China); Europe (UK and Germany); and one in the United States (California). B.C. will be adding new offices in Mumbai and Chandigarh in India by mid-November

Source: British Columbia Government