August 17, 2020
Investors are attracted to British Columbia’s strong economic fundamentals, its proximity to the U.S. market, its highly skilled work force, and abundant resources. With one of North America’s most competitive business climates, British Columbia offers stability and support to startups and new offices. The province is at the commercial crossroads of Asia-Pacific and North America with the shortest sea route between the two for easy global access.
The welcoming culture and ability to bring international talent into B.C. contributes to the local staffing pool, while the natural beauty and popular outdoor activities complete the appealing lifestyle.
British Columbia has investment opportunities in many industry sectors, from resource extraction and development to advanced technology and knowledge-based industries. The advantages here appeal to companies investing funds into B.C. businesses such as venture capital firms or corporate investors placing funds into smaller B.C. firms. A growing labour pool of highly educated, multi-lingual and motivated workers is responsive to the needs of businesses and the low cost of doing business gives British Columbia a competitive edge. Add to that a high quality of life and you have the B.C. combination that makes it easy to find – and retain – the right employees.
Examples of international investment include the funding brought in to Clio, a cloud-based legal technology company. British Columbia’s rich natural resources have consistently attracted mining investments like the recent story from Mitsubishi. Tech innovator ThoughtExchange recently attracted significant venture capital from the United States for its crowd conversation tool.
British Columbia is especially popular with companies opening an operation here as a branch of their existing business.
Recent expansions into British Columbia include Fujitsu and MasterCard, both of which have opened offices in Vancouver. CrowdEmotion, a human AI company, and Daitan, a software development company, have both opened offices in Victoria.
For international businesses, an appealing and productive option for expanding into B.C. comes from engaging directly with our Trade and Investment Representatives who are located in offices near the investors. Our representatives can answer many questions regarding the investor’s needs. They provide strategic support to inform investment decisions, details about our economic and business conditions, assistance in establishing new enterprises, tours, introductions and events to help investors make connections and evaluate opportunities.
A key advantage our representatives offer people considering B.C. is that they are dedicated to working for companies exploring British Columbia, as they are retained and employed and resourced only by British Columbia’s provincial government. Their knowledge base about the province’s regions and sectors is extensive and they have broad connections and experience engaging with key institutions.
Global Affairs Canada has both trade commissioners and dedicated investment officers posted around the world as well. Invest in Canada promotes investment into Canada and works directly with companies.
Once investors have reached out to these global resources, their offices will often connect the investor with our team to assist them in finding a fit for their needs as they narrow their search for a company to invest in or a community to locate in. Trade and Invest BC can provide introductions to community development organizations like South Island Prosperity Partnership, who can in turn recommend local professional services like commercial realtors.
Trade and Invest BC staff can also make introductions to organizations like KAST to present to companies about the local industry sector, or to lawyers to advise on business set up, or to local venture capital firms to discuss co-investing or setting up funds in B.C. We offer programs of introductions for investors wishing to meet B.C. companies seeking investment or a curated series of meetings with B.C.-based advisors for companies seeking to set up here. These include immigration lawyers, accounting firms, people to advise on the environmental approval process, local universities, industry associations and more.
Visit our events page for trade shows and events to explore what British Columbia has to offer.
Coming up on our blog: we’re working on a series highlighting the economic regions of British Columbia, a series highlighting resilience across our key sectors (both great resources for investors!) and this series on market insights. Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter for regular updates.
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Trade and Invest BC helps facilitate foreign direct investment and has Trade and Investment Representatives in markets around the world. Contact the representative nearest you for support in investing in British Columbia.