September 15, 2017

An AdvantageBC Update: Our Work Continues On

Our staff and Board of Directors are shocked and disappointed by the introduction of legislation to cancel the International Business Activity (IBA) Program.

While we are still working to prevent the cancellation of the program, the AdvantageBC Board is eager for the organization to continue to fulfill its overall mandate of promoting British Columbia as a desirable place to locate international business. The IBA Program is an important tool in the toolkit; however, AdvantageBC’s work is broader than the IBA Program. Regardless of the future of the IBA Program, we will continue our work to attract the attention of companies and investors around the world.

Prior to this new legislation, AdvantageBC commissioned the consulting firm MMK to conduct a comprehensive review of the IBA program and AdvantageBC. Anticipating decisions regarding the IBA program wouldn’t be made in the lead-up to the February, 2018 budget; the deadline for completing this report was set for the end of September. Once complete, we will share the report with our stakeholders.

AdvantageBC will also continue to examine public policy issues of concern to the international business community. Recent examples include the report on opportunities and challenges in the financial services sector flowing from the new CETA Agreement written by Ambassador Don Campbell and our advocacy work to have Canadian bank settlement hours extended. Additionally, we are going to carry on hosting events where our members can network with others in the international business community.

If the IBA Program is cancelled, it will challenge our revenue stream as our core members contributed a small percentage of their IBA refunds in addition to the modest annual membership fee. However, our organization has a healthy balance sheet giving us ample time to develop a sustainable funding model for the long term.

If you would like to voice your concern over the cancellation of the IBA program we suggest you reach out to the following three key individuals: Minister of Finance Carole James, Opposition Finance Critic Shirley Bond and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

Did you know?

  • BC has a lower tax rate than Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • British Columbia is one of the top two designated financial centres in Canada.
  • The IBA Program includes a personal income tax incentive for international employees.
  • You may be eligible for a refund of BC corporate tax on income from international business activities.
  • Vancouver is among the top-10 wealth management centres in the world.