International trade is one of the key components of the South Island Prosperity Project’s mandate to diversify the south island’s economy. British Columbia’s largest trading partner is the United States, with 53% of all trade activity; however, China is now the province’s #2 trading partner – recently surpassing both Japan and Korea. SIPP’s international trade activities are delivered in two primary project areas: export development and trade missions.
SIPP works with business clients from throughout the region that are established and either ready to export or need some advisory services or resources with which to expand into a new market or deeper into an estimating market. We deliver these services primarily through the BusinessConnect program either part of a longer-term strategic aim with the client, or as an a-la-carte service. Clients can also participate in coordinated trade delegations overseas or in the USA. SIPP will help them with preparation and analysis as well as to set-up meetings and find in-market support.
Coordinated business delegations are a great way for companies to assess market potential, or use the elevated exposure of a dignitary-led trade mission to gain access to the right prospects or partners. SIPP also utilizes coordinated trade missions to further project goals–for example, seeking investment or strategic partners for projects. To learn more about SIPP’s 2018 international business activities, email or call us. We’d love to help your business succeed beyond the island.
In October 2017, SIPP executed a multifaceted business delegation as part of the Mayor of Victoria’s broader trade mission to Asia (China and Japan). The activities were focused on the cities of Shenzhen (an entrepreneurial and high-tech focused city near Hong Kong) and Shanghai (China‘s largest commercial and financial centre). In Shenzhen, the delegation met with a half-dozen local companies that have strong linkages to Vancouver Island through alignment to the Smart South Island initiative.
The meetings resulted in a coordinated delegation from Shenzhen and nearby Guangzhou to attend SIPP’s Greater Victoria Prosperity Summit on March 12, 2018. The group also had meetings with BYD, the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, in hopes of bringing the technology–and the Canadian business unit–to the region. In Shanghai, eight South Island-based businesses participated in their own B2B meetings over a three-day period. SIPP organized a number of meetings and site tours with Shanghai’s Smart Cities leaders and projects and introduced a knowledge-sharing agreement with the Municipal Commission of the Economy and Information (the government department that oversees the Smart Cities strategy) that will be executed in 2018. The delegation met with several businesses within this space as well, many of which are exploring the March 12th Greater Victoria Prosperity Summit. SIPP also arranged a pitch to the Chinese Media Capital Group, the largest investor in film and new media in China, for investment into film production facilities on the South Island (British Columbia’s film industry grew 35% year over yearend represents a significant economic opportunity).