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NEWS RELEASE · 13th November 2010
Ministry of Trade & Investment
With nearly $2.6 billion worth of merchandise and commodities shipped over the first nine months of the year, 2010 has already become British Columbia's record year for exports to China, announced Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment.

"Our government has long-said B.C.'s economic prosperity is directly tied to markets in Asia, especially China," said MacDiarmid.

"These record export numbers are proof that British Columbia is making strong inroads in China and there is growing demand for our products and commodities."

According to Statistics Canada's latest monthly release on international merchandise trade, $2.597 billion dollars worth of B.C. origin exports were shipped to China between January and September 2010. This surpasses the $2.478 billion record total set over the entire calendar year of 2009. Year-over-year, the value of B.C. origin exports are up by 39.5 per cent over last year's pace.

Chinese-market export growth is being fuelled in the following sectors:

* Solid wood products - $487 million, up by 94 per cent.
* Pulp and paper products - $893 million, up by 49 per cent.
* Energy products - $530 million, up by 21 per cent.
* Agricultural products - $111 million, up by 399 per cent.
* Fish products - $57 million, up by 8 per cent.
* Machinery and equipment - $75 million, up by 35 per cent.

In 2000, the value of B.C.-origin exports to China was $706 million. That value has risen by 251 per cent to reach 2009's total of $2.478 billion.

"Our government has been very active in helping B.C.-based companies access international markets. We've established a network of six Asia-based trade and investment representatives, half of which are located in China, and have opened the Asia Pacific Business Centre at Robson Square. These efforts are obviously working," added MacDiarmid.

Over the past few months, a number of B.C. government officials, including Premier Gordon Campbell, have led successful trade missions to China. Forests, Mines and Lands minister Pat Bell recently led a successful forestry trade mission that generated sales of 418 million board feet of lumber.

Transportation and Infrastructure minister Shirley Bond returned from China this week after leading the Pacific Gateway Alliance Trade Mission to Asia to promote the integrated Pacific Gateway transportation network.

British Columbia's gains to China are also being mirrored in its overall international export growth. Over the first nine months of the year, B.C.-origin exports to all countries are worth $21.218 billion up by 12.9 per cent over the same period in 2009.