Provincial Minister heads to Europe on trade mission – Delta Optimist

Ravi Kahlon, North Delta MLA and Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation is embarking Sunday on a 10-day trade mission to Europe.

Starting May 22, the mission will see the minister meet with key public- and private-sector partners in five European countries, in an effort to build on B.C.’s reputation as a leader in ESG (environmental, social, governance) standards.

“As we begin to take the next steps to emerge from the challenges of the past two years, we are entering into a new world with a fast-changing global economy,” said Kahlon. “That’s why I’m building off my recent U.S. trip and taking our StrongerBC Economic Plan to Europe to meet with emerging companies and industry leaders who are attracted to B.C.’s position as a climate leader with strong ESG credentials.

“This trip will help create good-paying jobs for people and families here in B.C. and put our province in a leading position to attract worldwide investment.”

According to a government news release, Kahlon will meet with partners, investors and members of government in the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Germany and Finland. Topics will include mutual areas of interest, such as agri-tech, mass timber, life sciences and biomanufacturing, the emerging hydrogen sector, clean-energy solutions and new technologies to improve supply chains.

Announced in the StrongerBC Economic Plan, the new ESG Centre of Excellence will provide support to B.C. businesses to develop, promote and market their goods and services under a globally respected provincial ESG brand. The centre will help businesses increase their capacity to meet international ESG standards and reporting requirements, and to be competitive and increase business opportunities.

“It is crucial that organizations intentionally build ESG into holistic business strategies and reporting, and the ESG Centre of Excellence will help promote ESG principles within B.C.,” said Lori Mathison, president and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants British Columbia. “As businesses strive to meet these ESG standards, our economy will be even more sustainable and resilient, and the ESG Centre of Excellence will help create a cohesive provincial strategy for international markets.”

Along with this European trip, the ministry will begin an extensive outreach program to meet with businesses, industry groups, Indigenous leaders, academics, financial institutions, non-profit organizations, regulators and others to hear how the centre can help maximize competitiveness and increase investments, commercial activity and jobs for B.C. businesses.

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