PREMIER Christy Clark departed Thursday on the India trade mission with Minister of Advanced Education Amrik Virk. They are leading a delegation of over 70 companies and post-secondary institutions to reinforce B.C.’s economic and cultural ties with India, promote further investment in B.C. and expand exports as part of the BC Jobs Plan.
“One of the keys to doing business internationally is building relationships,” said Clark. “Trade missions allow us to make connections that open doors to long-term trade and investment and create opportunities for research and student exchanges. As we continue to make inroads into the Asia Pacific market, we are seeing these partnerships create more economic opportunities – and more jobs at home.”
Throughout the trade mission from October 9-18, which will make stops in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore and Mumbai, Clark and Virk will promote the strength of key B.C. sectors, including liquefied natural gas and other natural resources, clean technology, life sciences, film, digital arts and finance. The trade mission will also showcase B.C. as India’s fastest and most efficient gateway to North American markets.
Virk will also travel to Bangalore to raise awareness of the great potential for secondary and post-secondary education partnerships, joint research initiatives, and student exchange between B.C. and India.
“India’s young demographics and growing middle class make it one of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” said Virk. “In the post-secondary sector, we’re already seeing the benefits of the work we’ve done to build relationships with India. Compared to other international countries, India has the second-highest number of agreements with B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions and we look forward to building on that on this trade mission.”
Trade missions are a critical part of British Columbia’s strategy to diversify its international trading partners and secure new investment, propelling economic activity and job creation throughout the province. The last three major Premier-led missions to Asian markets resulted in business deals and partnership agreements valued at over $1.8 billion.
India is identified as a key export market in the BC Jobs Plan, and is already emerging as an important trade and investment partner for B.C. For example, in 2013, B.C. goods exported to India jumped by 46% to $469 million compared to the same period in 2012.
This trade mission will build on the success of the Premier’s Jobs and Trade Mission to China and India in 2011 by strengthening B.C.’s relationships with government partners and promoting the province’s competitive advantages in corporate meetings with key investors in priority sectors.
* Between 2001 and 2013, trade between India and B.C. has increased by more than 296%.
* The top commodity exports to India in 2013 were mineral products, wood products, pulp, and machinery and equipment.
* British Columbia has expanded its trade and investment network in India with trade and investment representatives located in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chandigarh.
* India is part of our International Education Strategy, which includes the goal of a 50% increase to the number of international students studying in B.C. by 2016.
* In 2012-13, there were 4,600 international students from India studying in B.C., including 2,600 in public post-secondary institutions and 2,000 in private post-secondary institutions.