A Message from Ron Bozzer, Board Chair

Download the 2017 Annual Message 

During the past year, we remained focused on fulfilling our mandate and delivering value and new opportunities for our members.  Your Board of Directors devoted much time to guiding the strategic direction of AdvantageBC.

We took important steps on a range of key initiatives towards AdvantageBC’s mandate to foster and encourage the financial sector in the Province, including promoting the many advantages British Columbia offers as a location for international business and investment.  We focused on our Province’s economic strengths, including an educated and multilingual workforce, an outstanding telecommunications infrastructure, clean and competitive energy, and a high quality of living. We continued to leverage our position in the international business community as a partner for many business, government and key industry players.

Our mandate includes conducting research and developing proposals to enhance British Columbia’s financial sector. AdvantageBC’s research initiatives included: studying Canada’s financial services industry as a whole to understand the unique successes and advantages of the sector to British Columbia, exploring the potential to extend the Canadian payment settlement hours, and developing a greater understanding of the global opportunities for BC’s FinTech sector.

We remained committed to achieving our vision of strengthening the financial services sector in British Columbia and this original research played an important role in understanding and capitalizing on these strengths and opportunities. In 2017, 11 directors were elected to the Board for a two year term and 12 directors continued to serve the second year of a two year term on the Board. The dedication and commitment of the Board has been outstanding.

For over thirty years, AdvantageBC has promoted British Columbia as a desirable location for international business.  While we were initially focused on attracting international banking and financial service functions to Vancouver, we broadened the focus to include niche areas such as the international distribution of film and television productions and the commercialization of life science and clean energy patents.

The expansion of our mandate and focus was driven by changes over the years to the International Business Activity (IBA) Program, which is administered by the BC Ministry of Finance.

The IBA program was a unique tool that AdvantageBC promoted when we reached out to companies both in Canada and around the world to share the attributes that make BC a sound business location decision.

The newly elected BC Government publicized their intention to terminate the IBA Program in their budget update announcement, and on October 26, 2017, the British Columbia legislature passed the sections of Bill 2: the Budget Measures Implementation Act, which terminated the IBA Program effective September 11, 2017.

Prior to the termination of the IBA Program, we had commissioned MMK Consulting to do an independent review of AdvantageBC and the IBA Program.  That report clearly demonstrated how the IBA Program was positively contributing to bringing new business into the BC economy. According to the MMK independent study, Building BC’s Brand an IBA Program Assessment, IBA eligible activities represented approximately $2.0 billion in direct and indirect economic output and direct employment of 7,800 people in the Province.

The termination of the IBA Program this past year resulted in our re-assessing our mandate and strategic direction.  This process is ongoing.

Our Board of Directors have listened carefully to what our members expect from our organization and we are working to assess how best to fulfill our mandate and to bring new initiatives forward. In the meantime we continue our mandate to promote British Columbia as an attractive environment to conduct business, to stimulate interest in the international business sector and to advocate on behalf of our members and the business community.

I take this opportunity to extend my personal gratitude to each member of AdvantageBC’s staff, Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Governance Committee and Audit Committee for their enthusiasm, dedication and guidance throughout the year. Furthermore, I thank all of our members for their continuing support.  I encourage all of our members to continue their involvement with AdvantageBC and provide feedback on our organizational strategies moving forward.

Ron Bozzer
Board Chair

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Did you know?

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