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British Columbia

As the westernmost province and Canada’s gateway to Asia, British Columbia has been leading the country in building relationships with the Asia Pacific region. BC government officials have visited Asia on numerous occasions over the last several years, and Asia has been identified as a priority region for the province, in order to help reduce its reliance on trade with the U.S.

Did you know that in 2014, BC exported more than any other province to Asia? The value of its exports accounted for 29% of Canada’s total exports to the region.

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Alberta has increasingly been courting Asia both for investment and for new export markets, particularly for its vast reserves of oil and gas. The province doesn’t trade much with Asia but it has expressed the need to diversify its exports away from the United States.

Did you know that since 2012 Alberta has had more official visits to Asia than any other province, and nine of the province’s twelve trade offices are in Asia?

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Asia is becoming an increasingly important region for Saskatchewan, which recognizes the need to diversify its economy. Asia is the province’s second largest export destination and import source. The province has strong social ties to Asia as well, and it maintains Canada's second oldest sister province relationship with China.

Did you know that 58% of Saskatchewan’s pea and lentil exports went to South Asia in 2011, making it the province's biggest market for pulses?

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Manitoba is acting upon the opportunities in Asia, particularly in India and China. In early 2013, a trade mission to India was led by Premier Greg Selinger. As well, Manitoba appointed various representatives of trade in India and in China, and it has two sister province relationships with China.

Did you know that Manitoba’s exports to Asia grew by 176% from 2000 to 2013? The agriculture industry is the main export industry, contributing $1.6 billion in 2013.

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Over the last few years, Ontario has become increasingly connected to Asia, both in terms of trade and in people-to-people connections. Exports to and imports from Asia have increased dramatically. Ontario is a leader among provinces in people-to-people links: it has the second largest number of sister city agreements with Asia, as well as the largest population of Canadians which speak an Asian language as a mother tongue.

Did you know almost two-thirds of new immigrants arrive from Asia and the Middle East, and the largest visible minority groups in Ontario are of South Asian and Chinese descent?

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Quebec has had a longtime presence in Asia; it opened its first trade office in the region in Japan in 1973. Over the past few years, la belle province has built substantial linkages with many Asian countries and is increasingly trading with this part of the world. Quebec’s trade with Asia has grown by 193% since 2000.

Did you know that 40% of Quebec’s exports to Asia go to China?

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Newfoundland and Labrador

As one of the newer energy producing provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador has worked towards greater collaboration with Asian partners, many of whom are from countries which are global leaders in energy. NL has also established strong trade and investment ties in mining and fishing, both of which are large provincial industries. Nonetheless, the province has the lowest percentage of Asian visible minorities among the provinces.

Did you know China was the province’s second largest importer of seafood in 2012?

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New Brunswick

New Brunswick has increasingly recognized opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. The province has recently sent trade missions to Asia in order to attract investment in energy, mining, and information technology. While the % of exports to the region remain low (3.2%), in 2013 Asia overtook Europe as the province’s second largest export destination. New Brunswick hopes to use the Atlantic Gateway to increase market diversification to Asia.

Did you know immigrants from South Korea, China, and India make up almost half of the province’s economic migrants?

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Nova Scotia

Although an Atlantic province with relatively little people-to-people connections with Asia, Nova Scotia nonetheless increasingly sees the Asia Pacific region as an important part of its economy. As home to one of North America’s most important ports, the Port of Halifax, the province has found ways to connect with Asia; it is the only province to have a sister port agreement with an Asian country.

Did you know almost half of all container cargo moving through the Port of Halifax arrives from, or is destined for, Asia?

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Prince Edward Island

Despite being commonly associated with Anne of Green Gables, which featured a romanticized rural Canada, Prince Edward Island has a growing Asia Pacific identity and has increased its links to the region in recent years. The province has participated in a number of trade delegations to Asia and has attempted to attract tourists as well as highly skilled immigrants from the region.

Did you know that among the Atlantic provinces, PEI has the highest percentage of visible minorities of Asian heritage?

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Yukon is a leader among the territories in terms of engagement with Asia. It has increasingly marketed itself as a gateway, strategically situated between Asian and North American shipping lanes. It is also strong in people-to-people connections with Asia; it has the fifth largest percentage of Asian visible minorities amongst all territories and provinces, and tourists from Asia have increased significantly, many of whom visit to see the northern lights.

Did you know that Yukon became the only territory to have a sister province agreement with Asia when it established ties with Shaanxi, China?

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Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories’ future as an energy producer has meant that the territory needs to increase its interactions with international markets, particularly those in Asia. The territorial government recently sent trade delegations to Asia to attract energy investment. The territory, which has the world’s third largest diamond industry and a large fur industry, will also find further opportunities arising from Asia’s booming middle-class in the coming years.

Did you know that 70% of the furs produced by the Northwest Territories go to China?

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Nunavut has aimed to increase its global reputation in cultural, economic, and environmental issues. The territory recognizes the importance of Asia to the future development of its resources, and the territory may become strategically important as melting sea-ice permits use of the Northwest Passage as new shipping lanes between Asia, Europe, and North America. The use of Arctic shipping routes could potentially reduce shipping distances between Asia and Europe by 40%.

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As Asia continues as the main engine of global growth, Canada is increasingly looking to intensify its ties with the region. The Government of Canada has launched a variety of economic and diplomatic initiatives, supported by the majority of Canadians, in order to strengthen economic and political relations in the Asia Pacific.

Did you know that between 2000 and 2012, more than half of all immigrants to Canada arrived from an Asian country? According to the latest national census, one out of every eight Canadians is of Asian background.

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System Messages

The Asia Factor

News May 27, 2016

BC Opens Trade and Investment Office in the Philippines

British Columbia has opened a new Trade and Investment Representative Office in Manila, Philippines. The office was opened by Premier Christy Clark as part of the province’s trade mission to South Korea, the Philippines and Japan. The new office in Manila is B.C.’s first office in Southeast Asia. It will support B.C. companies seeking to do business in the Philippines and will help Philippine companies find investment opportunities in B.C.

News May 26, 2016

P.E.I.'s India trade mission leads to new joint venture company

P.E.I.'s economic development minister says its "successful" trade mission to India earlier this year has led to the creation of a new joint venture company on the Island to boost the advanced marine technology sector. In a statement released Wednesday, the province says technology integration company Aspin Kemp & Associates out of Charlottetown signed a memorandum of understanding with Grintex India Ltd. to develop a new company. The two companies will develop training programs at an office in the LaunchPad P.E.I. space in Montague.  

News May 12, 2016

Trade delegation from Chinese province of Guangdong is in Vancouver

A high-level trade delegation from the southeast Chinese province of Guangdong is in Vancouver this week touting trade and investment cooperation and China’s economic development plans in southern Asia. Canadian officials met at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Monday with members of a 200-strong delegation from China that included Hu Chunhua, the top Communist official in Guangdong.


Under President Xi Jinping, China has committed to a new regional investment strategy that would rebuild trade routes through southern and central Asia. Chinese officials have said in recent years that Canada and B.C. could participate in this strategy by providing technical expertise. Hu said he sees B.C. as an ideal target as China tries to integrate into western economies. He said Guangdong wants to invest in Canadian sectors such as engineering, bioscience and finance, as well as environmental innovation.

Latest Research

‘The Asia Factor in Atlantic Canada’ Project Reports

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) has released 'The Asia Factor in Atlantic Canada,' the first comprehensive study of the current impact and future opportunities that Asia presents to the Atlantic Canadian economy. The project represents the Atlantic side of The Asia Factor. The two-year project includes the following studies and reports:

New Publication

The Asia Factor: 2015 Update

Asia Factor 2015 is the third publication for the Asia Factor Project, a multi-year initiative with the goal of exploring how each Canadian province and territory has been affected by the relationship between Canada and Asia. This project provides a comprehensive resource of information and analysis on Canada-Asia relations at the provincial level.


True to the mission of the Asia Factor, this year’s booklet helps readers understand the relationships between Canadian provinces and territories and Asian countries with profiles on merchandise exports, services trade, inward and outward investment, immigration, and inbound tourism. Furthermore, the publication will also explore the Canada-Asia relationship in terms of international students and investment treaties.

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