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| As a part of the strategy by the Provincial Government of British Columbia to enhance the trade relation with ASEAN, the BC Minister of Agriculture, Norm Letnick, on December 10th, 2015 in Richmond, publicly announced that BC will open a Trade and Investment Representative Office in Indonesia. Previously, BC Government on December 4, 2015 also announced the opening of a Trade and Investment Representative Office in Philippines.
Minister Letnick further commented on the surge of economic growth and potential market of Asian countries, and the importance for BC Government to set up a strategy to enhance the trade and investment relation with those countries, particularly in priority sectors among others agriculture, technology and green energy. The strategy should aim to meet three objectives, first to increase BC export to Asia, investment and intensified economic engagement with Asian countries. Minister Letnick outlined the relation between BC and Indonesia that showed gradual improvement in recent years. The operation of Indonesian company, Paper Excellence, in BC has delivered significant contribution to BC economy.
Minister Letnick affirmed that the opening of BC’s Trade and Investment Representative Office in Jakarta is in line with the strategy pursued by BC Government. Indonesia as one of the biggest market in ASEAN is considered the important partner to establish BC’s trade and investment in Asia, and take advantage ofASEAN Economic Community as the third worlds’ biggest single market in Asia, behind China and Japan.
Indonesian Consul General on her remark applauded the initiative for the opening of BC’s Trade and Investment Representative Office in Jakarta, and believed the office will give significant contribution to the increase of mutual trade relation. As a country with the biggest population in South East Asia and blessed with the abundant of natural resources, Indonesia`s economic power should not be put aside. The opening of Indonesia`s representative office is also timely and in compliance with the development policy issued by Indonesian Government to attract more foreign investors. The BC’s Trade and Investment Representative Office in Jakarta is also beneficial to improve the communication among the business people.
President of Asia Pacific Foundation, Ambassador Stewart Beck, on his remark mentioned the immense potential of Asia that in long term BC should take advantage of by increasing its trade and investment. Establishing trade office in ASEAN countries is a good response considering the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community that integrate the markets that reach the total of 600 million people.
Dignitaries that attended the announcement are Norm Letnick (BC Minister of Agriculture), Hon. Linda Reimer, MLA (Parliamentary Secretary), Mr.James Hammond(Assistant Deputy Minister, Mnisry of International Trade BC), Amb.Stewart G.Beck (President Asia Pacific Foundation), Vice President Dan-D Pak, Consul General of Japan in Vancouver, representatives of foreign enterprises in BC including Paper Excellence, and covered by 6 local media.