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Province launches trade strategy, supports more B.C. exports, investment.

B.C. is launching a new international trade strategy that will help more B.C. businesses export and invest internationally and increase the diversity of exporters and global markets to ensure a stronger, more resilient economy.


“Helping B.C. businesses reach international markets creates more opportunities and well-paid jobs for British Columbians, and generates clean and inclusive economic growth here at home," said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “By expanding our trade relationships and promoting B.C.'s innovative, sustainable products and services to the world, we are continuing our work to support businesses and people in all regions of our province.”


The new Trade Diversification Strategy is a commitment in the StrongerBC Economic Plan. It specifically identifies key actions to increase export and investment opportunities in three new targeted markets, while expanding in existing markets. This will help businesses grow on the world stage while creating jobs and protecting British Columbians from supply-chain disruptions and global uncertainties.


The strategy targets Mexico, Vietnam and Taiwan as valuable new markets that B.C. will focus on for export growth, with actions already underway to increase trade support.


“We know that B.C.’s success is linked to the trade and business we do around the world," said Jagrup Brar, Minister of State for Trade. "That’s why, through this strategy, we’re leveraging our competitive advantage and working closely with B.C. businesses, industries and community partners to deliver high-quality, made-in-B.C. goods and services to the world.”


Through this strategy, a Trade and Investment Representative (TIR) office in Taiwan will be created to support B.C. businesses with better access to the market, as well as one in Mexico that will be introduced and evaluated this year. B.C. also opened a TIR office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and a Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) office in the province of Binh Duong to promote B.C. exports, including value-added wood sales.

The Trade Diversification Strategy will provide funding to successful programs that promote better access to international trade opportunities for those B.C. businesses led by under-represented groups. This will include continued support of $1.2 million annually from the Province for Export Navigator and $913,000 to the World Trade Centre Vancouver to deliver new cohorts of the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP), which supports B.C. businesses and entrepreneurs to be export ready.


The Trade Diversification Strategy is a key action of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, which moves B.C. forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing a clean, inclusive economy that works for everyone.


Quotes:


Duncan Wilson, vice-president of environment and external affairs, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority –

“The Port of Vancouver plays a crucial role in connecting local businesses, large and small, with international markets — with about $20 billion of B.C. exports moving through the Port of Vancouver every year. On behalf of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, I commend the government for taking leadership to help grow B.C. exports, which, in turn, support a more prosperous province and local jobs. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with government to progress our shared goals of building domestic trade capacity and supply chain resiliency to help B.C. businesses thrive.”


Anita Huberman, president and CEO, Surrey Board of Trade –

“The Surrey Board of Trade and our Surrey International Trade Centre applaud the B.C. government on focusing on an industry-diversified action plan to expand global business connections for local businesses. Surrey is a global city. By leveraging the opportunities of B.C.'s trade strategy, businesses of all sizes can increase their economic opportunities.”


Nerissa Allen, president, Black Business Association of BC –

“B.C.’s strength is its diversity. We see this manifesting through incredible innovative businesses that fuse culture with technology in various sectors. B.C.’s new Trade Diversification Strategy will lay the foundation for increased participation of our globally competitive underserved groups. We will see an exponential return on investment by ensuring B.C. businesses have the tools, resources and access to network that will be provided through this strategy.”


Jill Tipping, president and CEO, BC Tech Association –

“The Trade Diversification Strategy will enhance economic stability, foster growth and reduce vulnerability to external shocks. It opens new opportunities, expands market access and promotes competitiveness, all leading to sustainable economic development for our Province.”


Kirk Homenick, president, Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd. (Hardbite Chips) –

“Exporting B.C.-made products around the globe competitively has been made possible with the support put in place by the B.C. government so brands like Hardbite can compete on a global scale. With today’s announcement, Hardbite has confidence that the export portion of our company will continue to grow around the world. We look forward to the opportunities that will present themselves from today’s announcement to support companies in British Columbia.”


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