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Significant partnership with Japan to better support transportation infrastructure

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:37 PDT, Fri June 17, 2022

A new agreement signed between the Province of B.C. and the group Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) will help deliver innovative and clean solutions for future transportation projects and priorities.

Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation, co-signed the new memorandum of co-operation with Tatsuhiko Takesada, president and chief executive officer of JOIN, in Vancouver. The focus of the memorandum of co-operation is to increase information sharing, discussions, and co-ordination with Japan on transportation infrastructure projects and solutions.

"This agreement will help broaden our horizons on transportation infrastructure and technology, and welcome international investment to B.C.," Kahlon said. "This will help B.C. achieve the core mission in our StrongerBC Economic Plan of building more resilient communities with modern infrastructure, better equipped to withstand changes in the climate and the economy."

The agreement supports B.C. and JOIN sharing ideas and discussing upcoming transportation projects and priorities, including infrastructure projects, urban development, railways, ferries, port terminals, and airports.

"We are honored to sign the memorandum of co-operation with the B.C. government today. It is the first step but a giant step for future co-operation," Takesada said. "Our aim is to be involved in projects together with B.C. from the upstream by bringing investment opportunities and encouraging Japanese companies on their participation. We are excited to be working with the B.C. government on these kinds of initiatives going forward."

JOIN is a governmental policy-based company in Japan, engaged in investing in transportation and urban development projects outside Japan. It also supports Japanese companies, such as equipment manufacturers, contractors, and infrastructure building firms, to expand their businesses overseas.

"This agreement and information sharing comes at an excellent time, as we focus on building back better, making sure our infrastructure is strong, resilient and reliable for the new climate reality we're in," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "We know Japan shares these same goals in terms of innovative technology in the world of climate change—and we want to work together on developing solutions."

Japan's long-term vision focuses on overcoming its land limitations and natural disasters, underscoring why Japan and B.C. share an interest in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) responsibility. The StrongerBC Economic Plan positions B.C. to compete in international markets by building on B.C.'s reputation for ESG responsibility.

"Building this partnership with JOIN is a great step forward in B.C.'s Trade Diversification Strategy, which is a key pillar of the StrongerBC Economic Plan," said George Chow, Minister of State for Trade. "We are focussed on exploring more ways for B.C. businesses to connect with new international partners and helping leverage our B.C. brand to create more economic opportunities at home and abroad."

The agreement builds off the European trade mission that Kahlon participated in last month where he signed two agreements to bring in sustainable investments, opportunities, and good-paying jobs for British Columbians. The first agreement was signed with the Netherlands and centred around co-operation and resource sharing in agritech to support food security in B.C. The second agreement was signed with Finland, focussing on both regions working together to further develop the forest bioeconomy and the mass timber sector.

The StrongerBC Economic Plan works to address two long-standing challenges—inequality and climate change—by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities, and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions. The plan sets two main goals for the province, inclusive growth and clean growth, and puts forward six missions to keep B.C. on track.

For more information on JOIN, visit: join-future.co.jp/english/

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