VANCOUVER, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- A senior official with the government of British Columbia (B.C.) said Thursday that his recent visit to China offered encouragement toward the Canadian province's plan to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) overseas.
Having recently returned from a weeklong trade mission to China, Pat Bell, the westernmost province's minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, said he had separate meetings with representatives from Sinopec, Petrochina and Shell China, who were "interested" in the province's first foray into exporting the LNG beyond the U.S. market.
"They're interested in the LNG and I think we could have some good news in the near future," Bell told a press conference by phone. He was accompanied on the trade mission by 350 business people representing 130 companies from various sectors in the province.
With the trade mission headed by B.C. Premier Christy Clark also focusing on transport, seafood, education, mining and forestry, Bell said many deals and MOUs had been signed across the various sectors to secure jobs for the province.
Canadian Dehua International Mines Group signed partnerships worth a total 1.36 billion Canadian dollars (1.32 billion U.S. dollars) on two projects with Kailuan Group Ltd. and the Shougang Group, respectively.
In addition, more than 20 education agreements were signed with 12 B.C. institutions that will see about 2,500 new students coming to the province over the next five years. Currently, about 30,000 Chinese students are studying in the province.
It was also announced earlier this month that Sichuan Airlines would start a thrice-weekly service from Chengdu into Vancouver starting in March.