Global economic and population growth drive increased demand for mining products and services from Canada, including metals, coal and mining expertise. This is creating mining export opportunities for British Columbia suppliers.
With a wealth of natural resources, reputation as a global centre for mineral exploration and technological expertise, British Columbia is poised to meet this growing demand. The potential reward for British Columbia companies servicing this demand is significant.
The province’s Pacific Rim location provides one of the shortest shipping routes to Asia, a market that is experiencing exceptional growth.
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China, Japan, South Korea, India, Europe and Southeast Asia are significant users of raw mine products, and British Columbia is a reliable exporter of the products they need.
With its economy growing at over six per cent per year and prominence as a manufacturing centre, China requires a huge volume of natural resources. In addition to its domestic supply, China looks to other markets for raw materials such as coal and metals.
China is an important export destination for British Columbia, with significant exports of copper ores and coal. China may also seek the services from the British Columbia mining sector to develop its own mineral resources.
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Japan is a key export destination for British Columbia goods, accounting for 10.2 per cent of B.C. exports in 2017. It is almost completely reliant on imports for its mined raw materials, and expects to increase demand for metallurgic coal, copper and aluminum. British Columbia can meet many of these needs and prospects for continued growth remain strong.
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Highly dependent on raw material imports, South Korea is an important market for natural resources from British Columbia. South Korea was the world’s fourth-largest importer of coal in 2016, and almost 50 per cent of their imports from Canada in 2016 came from British Columbia. Going forward, South Korea’s growing economy will fuel demand for more energy resources and mean an even larger dependence on imports of both mining products and services.
Under the Canada Korea Free Trade Agreement, which came into force in January 2015, most metals and minerals are duty free, further enhancing Canada and British Columbia as a supplier of choice for mining products.
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British Columbia's globally recognized expertise in mineral exploration could be a tremendous asset to India’s developing mining. British Columbia sold over $700 million worth of mining and mineral products to India in 2016. There is particular need for mining equipment, mineral exploration-related investments, consultancy services and green mining technology.
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Europe presents substantial opportunities for export growth. British Columbia’s exports to Europe are dominated by natural resource products, with a very significant proportion of these being mine products, particularly coal and metallic mineral products.
With the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in force, almost all British Columbia mineral exports to the European Union are duty-free, providing British Columbia a competitive edge and market access.
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With their growing economies, countries in Southeast Asia require large volumes of minerals. This region is rich in natural resources, but ASEAN countries look to international suppliers, both for equipment and machinery used in mining and mineral extraction and for services such as mining, metallurgy, engineering, environmental assessment, training and geoscience.
Growing regional and international demand for minerals from Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia are leading to rapid expansion and a need for expertise and support to develop their resources. The Philippines is one of the world’s most highly mineralized countries, but faces many challenges in developing its resources. As foreign investment grows, the sector will need equipment and services from international suppliers.
British Columbia is recognized as a centre of expertise in the mining industry, and can build on existing relationships to supply both minerals and mining expertise to the region.
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