For Immediate Release
Nov. 21, 2018
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Earlier today Canada’s Minister of Finance Bill Morneau delivered the Fall Economic Statement, which included some encouraging news for the business community in British Columbia.
“The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is pleased to see the federal government responding to our concerns about business competitiveness, notably through new tax incentives for new capital investments,” said Hon. Iain Black, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
In today’s statement, Minister Morneau reiterated the federal government’s commitment to investing in trade-enabling infrastructure and support for Canadian exports to growing overseas markets. This includes the launch of a $1.1-billion Export Diversification Strategy.
“These investments could pay huge dividends here in British Columbia and Greater Vancouver, given our role as Canada’s Gateway to the burgeoning Asia-Pacific,” said Black. “We are pleased to see the government recognize the mounting importance of international trade diversification to our economic success. In light of Canada’s recent international trade agreements — including USMCA, CETA and CPTPP — we firmly believe that trade will be a cornerstone of the Canadian economy of tomorrow.”
The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade does remain concerned about the lack of a plan to return to balanced budgets. This is especially concerning given that the deficit is projected to grow next year despite relatively robust economic growth.
Below are some key highlights from today’s Fall Economic Statement. We are also pleased to announce that Minister Bill Morneau will give an update to Members of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade during a special breakfast event next Monday, Nov. 26.
Key Highlights for B.C. Businesses
Today the federal government announced new tax incentives to encourage investment in Canada worth $14 billion over five years. These time-limited measures include allowing most industries to write down all capital costs right away and introduce a new accelerated capital cost allowance (i.e., larger write-off in the first year of acquisition) for most businesses making capital investments.
Export enhancing infrastructure/programs
The Government is committed to better position Canada within the shifts in global trade, by increasing exports to overseas markets in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, as well as by developing new markets in services, digital products, health technology and e-commerce. To that end, the Government is proposing to launch an Export Diversification Strategy, with a target of increasing Canada’s overseas exports by 50 per cent by 2025. In total, the Export Diversification Strategy will invest $1.1 billion over the next six years, starting in 2018–19, to help Canadian businesses access new markets.
The Strategy will focus on three key components: investing in infrastructure to support trade, providing Canadian businesses with resources to execute their export plans and enhancing trade services for Canadian exporters.
- Accelerating infrastructure spending — Investments in marine ports and along the busiest rail and highway corridors will help address transportation capacity constraints, providing new opportunities for Canadian businesses to get their products to international markets. To expedite projects over the next five years, the Government will establish a continuous call for proposals for the National Trade Corridors Fund. Backed by an accelerated investment of $773.9 million over five years, the Fund will prioritize projects that provide the best economic benefits, drawing on better transportation data and reviews of key challenges in businesses supply chains.
- Improving transportation data — Better access to transportation data will help shippers optimize their routes, and help governments better target investments have the greatest improvement in the fluidity of supply chains. In 2017, to enhance the quality and accessibility of transport data, the Government launched a Multimodal Integrated Passenger-Freight Information System, led by Transport Canada with Statistics Canada. To accelerate the implementation of the System, the Government proposes to provide an additional $13.6 million over the next three years, starting in 2019.
- Mobilizing SMEs for export initiatives — To help small and medium-sized businesses realize their export potential, the Government will provide $10 million over three years for export readiness and export capacity building initiatives.
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.