Opening Doors to Diversify Markets in Japan and China
Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous will lead a mission to Japan and China from November 15 to 27 to help diversify markets and build on relationships forged during his mission in March.
The mission will focus on promoting Alberta’s diverse industries, including clean technology, oil and gas, forestry, agri-food, tourism and emerging technologies. It will also focus on ensuring that Alberta businesses have access to more diversified markets.
Minister Bilous will meet industry and government leaders and will follow up on conversations and agreements started during his first visit to Asia earlier this year. In Japan, Minister Bilous will attend the Canada Food Expo in Tokyo.
China and Japan are Alberta’s second- and third-largest trading partners, respectively. In 2015, Alberta’s two-way trade with China and Japan totalled more than $7.8 billion, with potential for growth. The province’s trade with China increased by 16 per cent last year.
Trade and investment attraction mission
More than 80 Alberta companies and economic development associations will participate in a separate Alberta-China trade and investment attraction mission from November 21 to 26. The government-led business mission – organized in collaboration with Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and Calgary Economic Development – will connect Alberta companies with potential Chinese buyers and investors.
The delegation will attend seminars and conduct one-on-one meetings in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Yantai, China. Minister Bilous will also attend the seminars.
“Asia is a priority market for Alberta. This mission builds on the success of previous missions to the region and will result in increased trade opportunities and investments to Alberta companies and the province. In the end, by getting Alberta businesses to new markets, we are supporting new jobs here at home.”
Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade
“The bottom line is that trade missions like this support Alberta jobs. As an export-focused sector, Alberta’s forestry companies know that we need to maintain our existing markets and expand into new markets over time. Building and maintaining strong, ongoing trading relationships with our customers around the world will keep our forest sector and Alberta’s economy strong and diversified.”
Paul Whittaker, President and CEO of Alberta Forest Products Association
Estimated cost for travel, meals, accommodations, ground transportation, receptions and meeting costs for Minister Bilous, one political and one departmental staff is $60,000. Alberta companies participating in the mission are responsible for their own expenses.
Key outcomes from the mission to China and Korea in March include:
- The launch of an international technology partnership between Alberta and the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Science and Technology. The partnership will benefit companies in both regions by accelerating technology commercialization, enhancing research and development networks and creating highly skilled jobs. Alberta committed $2 million to the partnership, while Alberta companies will match this amount. Zhejiang has committed $10 million from its government and the Chinese private sector. The aim is to commercialize projects over the next three years.
- The signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MOU).
- First, with the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, supports two-way investment and collaboration in sectors such as environment management and technologies, health and infrastructure.
- Second, with the Korean Importers Association, commits to a buyers’ mission to Alberta, which occurred in October. It also aims to increase trade activities between member companies and Alberta suppliers in such sectors as machinery, raw materials and consumer goods.
- Third, an economic and trade cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Guangdong Province, China, signed in Vancouver in May.
- The mission also saw the opening of the Alberta Guangzhou Office to help Alberta companies build networks and do business in southern China and connect Chinese investors and corporations with opportunities in Alberta.