In 2013, Ontario’s Going Global Trade Strategy highlighted the importance of trade to Ontario’s economy, in addition to the fact that Ontario’s traditional trade partners have experienced slower growth while emerging markets have surged ahead. The strategy emphasises the need for companies to expand their trade with new markets. It also identified several key markets in Asia which were identified as essential to growing Ontario’s economy. The strategy committed the province in helping to secure trade agreements with India, South Korea and Japan.
According to Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, since 2005, provincial trade missions to China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Israel and the West Bank have led to over $1.6 billion in agreements and business partnerships. In 2012-2013 alone, Ontario led 550 companies on trade missions to China, India, Japan and the Philippines, among other countries, with the aim of raising Ontario’s economic profile.
Ontario has established eleven International Marketing Centres (trade offices) which are located within Canadian diplomatic missions in eight countries worldwide. In Asia, Ontario’s five trade offices are located in Beijing (China), Chongqing (China), Shanghai (China), New Delhi (India), and Tokyo (Japan). The province also has a satellite office in Mumbai (India). These Centres are used to attract FDI from Asia, promote Ontario goods and services, form strategic partnerships and networks, and gain market intelligence.
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While Ontario has the largest number of sister city arrangements worldwide amongst all provinces, numbering 102 in total, it is only second in terms of Asian sister city agreements (36). Ontario also has a sister province arrangement with Jiangsu Province, China.
In 2010, Ontario and Jiangsu celebrated the 25th anniversary of their sister province relationship, and agreed to further cooperation on education, tourism, financial services, energy conservation and clean water technology.
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Did You Know...
In 2015, Ontario imported $675 million in merchandise from the Philippines;
nearly half of those imports were electrical machinery and parts.