British Columbia is North America’s Gateway for Trade

As a globally recognized, competitive business location, BC offers low taxes, a low cost business-friendly environment, and specific incentives such as the International Business Activity (IBA) tax incentive program.

International Financial Centre

Vancouver is rapidly climbing the ranks of the world’s financial centres – from 33rd on the Global Financial Centre Index in 2008 to 17th in 2017.

shutterstock_182474762Over the last eight years, over 100 tax cuts in BC have been introduced. As a result, the province now has some of the lowest tax rates in North America. Moody’s Investors Services and S&P continue to give British Columbia their highest rating (AAA).

In the mid-1990s, Canada’s total net debt-to-GDP ratio was the second highest in the G7. Today, it is the lowest. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, Canada has the soundest banking system in the world and has maintained this ranking for the last seven years in a row. Canada was ranked second on Bloomberg`s list of the most attractive destinations for business.

Gateway for Trade to North America

Vancouver is a key hub for Canada-China trade and a vital link between US and Asian markets.

BC initiated a $3-billion Pacific Gateway Strategy Program in 2006 (building upon the work of the BC Ports Strategy released in March 2005), helping expedite the movement of goods – by truck, train, airplane and ship – and encouraging Asian importers to choose BC as their North American transportation hub.

By 2020, Asia-Pacific container traffic is projected to increase by 300% and air passenger traffic is expected to double.

BC Economy

Vancouver has the highest quality of living in North America and the fifth highest in the world.

British Columbia’s expected real GDP growth was 2.2% in 2014 –by 2015, further improvements in the global economy and a substantial jump in capital spending in BC should push GDP growth to the 2.9% mark. Construction of LNG facilities, related pipelines and upstream natural gas development should increase BC`s GDP for 2015 -16.

More than 90% of electric power in British Columbia originates from hydroelectric generation; the cost of electricity is among the lowest in North America.

The bilateral Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement between B.C. and Alberta was fully implemented on April 1, 2009, removing trade barriers that restricted the free movement of people, goods and services between British Columbia and Alberta, thus boosting B.C. ’s competitiveness and reducing costs for business.

In Vancouver, the four leading immigrant home languages accounted for more than half (57.7) of the overall population speaking an immigrant language most often at home.


British Columbia offers a high quality, diverse labour pool that is constantly being replenished by immigration and graduates of B.C.’s many universities and colleges.

The financial services sector accounts for more than 100,000 direct jobs in British Columbia and, indirectly, the industry creates one new job in other sectors, such as professional services and administrative services, for every new job in the financial services sector.

Did you know?

  • All five of Canada’s largest banks have significant operations in BC.
  • According to latest GFCI, Vancouver is the 5th most powerful financial centre in North America.
  • Vancouver ranked third most livable city in the world by the EIU.
  • Vancouver is among the top-10 wealth management centres in the world.