Vancouver Board of Trade backs APEC business travel card program
October 08, 2013
A new program announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper today could have huge benefits for B.C.’s business travellers.
Speaking in Indonesia earlier today, Harper confirmed that Canada will launch a new pilot project this winter — the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card — aimed at improving Canadian business travel to countries across Asia.
Under the program, pre-approved Canadian business people will be eligible for expedited travel to participating countries, as well as faster border clearance upon return to Canada.
"This is great news for business travellers across the country, particularly here in B.C. where trade with Asia is so critical to our economic success,” said Iain Black, President and CEO of The Vancouver Board of Trade.
"Our organization has been advocating for an expedited business travel card for several years. We’re encouraged to see the federal government moving forward with this important program, which will strengthen ties between Canada and Asia.”
In 2011, The Vancouver Board of Trade prepared a resolution calling for the federal government to implement the APEC Business Travel Card for Canadian business people.
The Vancouver Board of Trade championed the resolution at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting on Sept. 18, 2011 in St. John’s, Newfoundland — successfully pushing the issue onto the national agenda.
"This is an important step forward for the thousands of British Columbians who travel back and forth between Asia for business — including many of the women and men who make up our membership,” said Elio Luongo, Chair of The Vancouver Board of Trade.
“This provides Canadians with a level playing field with business travellers from other APEC nations. This also has the potential to further increase trade with Asia, and, in turn, increase Canada’s GDP.”
For more information on today’s announcement, read the Prime Minister’s media release or consult this backgrounder.