Working Group on International Financial Services for BC

Establishing an RMB Trade and Investment Hub in Canada

The Working Group on International Financial Services for BC, convened in October 2014, investigated the opportunity for Canada, including Vancouver, to become the next global RMB Hub for banking, investment and trade settlement.

Specifically, the Working Group looked at the potential for a “Pan-Canadian” RMB Trade and Investment Hub, which could leverage the relative strengths of both Toronto and Vancouver as international financial centres. Given the globally recognized strength of the Canadian banking system, Canada could serve as an ideal RMB trade and investment Hub to serve the Americas.

The Working Group also explored what was needed from the private sector to ensure businesses are ready to handle business, banking and investing in a world which recognizes the growing significance of the RMB in global commerce. Private sector leadership and engagement is a prerequisite for Canada to be a successful and sustaining RMB Hub.

Renminbi Presentation to the House of Commons Finance Committee

Colin Hansen, President & CEO of AdvantageBC, was invited to present our organizations research on a Canadian renminbi trading hub to the House of Commons Finance Committee in Ottawa on February 26, 2015. A report summary from the Working Group on International Financial Services for British Columbia, which Colin Hansen chaired, was presented.

Summary of the Report

RMB working group report_cover imageEstablishing a pan-Canadian RMB Trade and Investment Hub that involves both Vancouver and Toronto has garnered strong support from the federal government and Canadian business community. The RMB hub is broadly viewed as a foundational element in growing Canada-China commercial relations and expanding both bilateral and multilateral trade and investment. Through this Pan-Canadian approach, Canada can establish itself as North and South America’s financial facilitator and the primary conduit to and from Asian financial centres, which is expected create significant economic spinoffs. Realizing these benefits, however, will be greatly assisted if we can capitalize on the differing strengths that both Toronto and Vancouver can offer as global financial centres as the RMB becomes integrated into trade and financial flows.

British Columbia’s RMB Advantages

The Working Group on International Financial Services for BC, convened in September 2014, investigated the opportunity for Canada, including Vancouver, to become the next global RMB Hub for banking, investment and trade settlement.

While Toronto is Canada’s primary financial centre, advocates across the country have agreed that a pan-Canadian RMB Trade and Investment Hub involving Vancouver (and potentially Montreal and Calgary) affords a number of additional advantages:

  • BC has a special economic relationship with Asia, building on its already strong trade (largest volume of trade of any Canadian province with China), investment, and demographic/cultural ties that extend to tourism and education;
  • As Canada’s second largest financial centre, Vancouver’s financial strengths have grown significantly in recent years in both volume and diversity of services, driven by the expansion of Asian financial institutions in the province including three of the largest banks in the world – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, and the Bank of China, as well as HSBC, an international Asian financial leader;
  • BC has significant strengths in human capital, with a skilled, multi-lingual workforce, and world-class post-secondary institutions with significant research capacity;
  • As a globally recognized, competitive business location, BC offers low taxes, a tax incentive program targeted to international financial services institutions, and a stable political and regulatory regime; and
  • Vancouver’s Gateway location in the Pacific time zone ensures that a pan-Canadian Hub can help provide 24- hour coverage for global RMB transactions and timely and accessible transit for people and goods both into Asia and into the Americas region.

By combining the strengths of both Toronto and Vancouver to create a pan-Canadian RMB Hub, Canada can provide a critical link currently lacking for Renminbi transactions in the Americas.

Working Group Members

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Did you know?

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