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Three-part plan will leverage the Board of Trade's World Trade Center subsidiary

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is excited to enter into a $2.5-million partnership with the B.C. Government aimed at permanently increasing the export capacity of B.C.'s small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

The partnership, announced today by Finance Minister Michael de Jong, includes a three-part plan that was developed by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade over the past year, and will breathe new life into the organization's World Trade Center Vancouver subsidiary.

"We would like to thank the Provincial Government for recognizing this enormous opportunity to strengthen B.C.'s economy and help businesses tap into new markets," said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and 2016-17 Chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

"One in five British Columbian jobs is tied to exporting, and there exists a direct linkage between exporting, job creation and increased productivity," added Iain Black, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. "By investing in these programs, businesses in Greater Vancouver and across the province will benefit."

The plan's three initiatives include:

  • Trade Acceleration Program: Intensive workshops will partner industry and government experts with B.C. entrepreneurs to help build their capacity to trade internationally.
  • Regional Trade Services Program Integration, Coordination, and Development: After reviewing the services currently available to businesses, the Board of Trade will create a suite of integrated and in-demand services.
  • Development of a Greater Vancouver Internationalization Framework: The Board of Trade will identify sectors with significant growth potential and develop a strategy to accelerate growth in these sectors, including targeting export opportunities for First-Nations-owned enterprises.

The plan calls for a coordinated, aligned, and strategic approach that includes collaboration with government, industry stakeholders, First Nations, and entrepreneurs across the province. As part of the funding agreement with the Province, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will work with the BC Chamber of Commerce in delivering the programming.

"Diversification of B.C.'s export markets is an important element of B.C.'s plan to continue growing our economy and creating more jobs for British Columbians," said Minister de Jong in announcing the funding. "This partnership will help ensure B.C.'s small and medium-sized businesses are reaching beyond our borders to find new markets and reach new customers."

According to a 2016 study by Aimia, 90 per cent of Canadian companies that attempted global expansion were somewhat or very successful. In addition, the Conference Board of Canada ties every $100 million increase in exports to 1,000 new jobs at home.

"It is clear that when we engage in exporting, we are good at it," said Silvester. "Our role is to seize the opportunity afforded us as Canada's only Pacific province; to fulfil our exporting potential by looking to Asia and the other markets accessible to us through Canada's Asia-Pacific gateway and by counting on our vibrant SME community."

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About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:

Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada's leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.

About the World Trade Center Vancouver:

World Trade Center Vancouver is part of the World Trade Centers Association, a not-for-profit, non-partisan association dedicated to the establishment and effective operation of World Trade Centers as instruments for trade expansion. The World Trade Centers Association is an international ecosystem of global connections and integrated trade services made up of 324 World Trade Center locations in 89 countries, representing over 750,000 businesses globally.

Media contact:

Greg Hoekstra
Communications Manager
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
604-640-5450 |

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