Message from Ron Bozzer, Board Chair
2016 will mark the 30th anniversary of AdvantageBC (International Financial Centre Vancouver) and we are working on plans to celebrate the excellent work that our Society has done to promote British Columbia as the preferred location to carry on international business. Over the past 30 years, we have seen significant advancements in the growth of British Columbia as a location for investment and to carry on international business, in part driven by the Province’s commitment to the International Business Activity (IBA) program and to our member’s ongoing promotion of the advantages available under the IBA program.
As both member and industry expectations continue to evolve, over the past year, your Board devoted much of our time to guiding the strategic direction of AdvantageBC and implementing our strategic plan. We have diversified our outreach platforms, undertaken initiatives to strengthen Canada’s brand globally, and advanced our research to better serve our community in the years to come.
Our Society continued to perform well in 2015, led by our dedicated team. We continued our mission to host member and promotional events, including several very successful events, focused on BC’s financial services industry. This included initiatives to publicize Canada being designated as an Renminbi (RMB) settlement hub, the Province of British Columbia becoming the first sovereign government to establish a Panda bond program in China’s onshore RMB market, as well as RMB focused events to build knowledge of the benefits to British Columbia industry of Canada’s designation as a RMB settlement hub.
Together with the provincial government, we hosted the inaugural Pacific Finance and Trade Summit in June 2015 to create a broader public and business community awareness of Canada’s Renminbi settlement hub to serve the Americas; to provide detailed information to businesses, financial industry participants and professional services providers about the specific advantages from making greater use of the Renminbi in North American trade and investment to and from China; and, to position Canada as the most RMB-friendly jurisdiction in the Americas. The Summit provided an excellent networking platform for an emerging RMB business community across Canada and across the Pacific to China. We plan to continue this successful launch with another summit on May 24-25, 2016.
We continued to develop original research to better understand the strengths of BC business and to advance BC business, particularly in the financial services sector. In 2016 we will focus on learning more about Canada’s financial services industry as a whole to better promote the advantage of BC; as well as to encourage the BC technology sector to play a global role in the development of new financial technologies, particularly as it relates to the financial services sector.
Our membership continued to grow and we completed 2015 with a total of 164 core and associate members. We continued our efforts to engage with government, industry associations and businesses with an active outreach program. We continued AdvantageBC’s conservative and prudent fiscal management, never forgetting that all of our revenue comes from our members and ever mindful that we must deliver value to our members.
At our Annual General Meeting, in March 2015, 12 Directors were elected for a two-year term and 12 Directors were elected for a one-year term. Ananth Krishnan, Head of Business Development, Global Trade and Receivables Finance at HSBC Bank Canada, as well as Liang Jiao, Senior Vice President at Bank of China (Canada), joined our Board of Directors. Each brings important financial and analytical skills to AdvantageBC.
After 5 years on our Board, Richard Brownsey, President and CEO of Creative BC, retired from our Board, as well as from Creative BC whom he so ably represented. Mr. Brownsey was a valued and visionary member of the AdvantageBC Board, always able to focus us and our programs on our mission.
I extend my personal gratitude to each member of AdvantageBC’s staff, Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Governance Committee and Audit Committee for their enthusiasm, continued support, dedication and guidance throughout the year. I thank all of our members for their support and encourage you to continue to engage in AdvantageBC’s activities; use our research, attend our events and get involved as a supporting partner.
We look forward to a rewarding 2016 and to celebrating our 30th anniversary.
AdvantageBC Annual Report Archive