Trade, Productivity & Competitiveness
BC’s ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world economy will depend on how well we can find new ways of doing business, adopt new ideas and practices, and connect with new trading partners. The Council encourages public policies that support research and innovation, business practices that increase productivity, connections that open new trading opportunities, and processes to commercialize BC’s best research.
The Investment Conundrum
Business non-residential capital spending has been on a declining trend for three years. The slump is particularly evident in the energy sector, but the weakness has spread well beyond the oil and gas industry.
BC Exports in 2016: Five Points of Interest
BC is a small, open, trade dependent economy. As such, exports play a big role in underpinning prosperity and stimulating growth. When exports rise, BC’s economy generally strengthens. Given the dominant role that natural resources have in BC’s overall export profile, exports are also the backbone of many smaller communities around the province.
RELEASE: Budget 2017 Offers Opportunities for Innovation, But BCBC Cautious on Canada's Overall Competitiveness
Today's federal budget, delivered at a time of significant global uncertainty, abrupt shifts in markets, and accelerating technological change, offers new opportunities for innovation and emerging sectors. However, the Business Council of British Columbia remains cautious on the implications of the continued federal deficit and questions whether enough is being done to strengthen Canada's competitiveness.
BC Economy Still Healthy...But Growth Will Downshift in 2017
Following three years in which BC topped the provincial growth charts, in 2017 our economy will lose a bit of momentum.
The Expanding Role of Renewables in the Global Electricity Market
This edition of the Environment & Energy Bulletin examines the current global and national state of renewables in electricity markets and highlights BC's advantage, and opportunities, stemming from our 98% renewable electricity grid.
Finlayson Op-Ed: Growing more large companies should be a key policy goal for B.C. (Troy Media, Exchange Magazine & Castanet)
The B.C. government recently published its annual “small business profile,” a document that highlights the role and impact of the small business sector in our economy. The table below summarizes the distribution of B.C. businesses by size category. Of 396,000 enterprises, more than half are one-person operations with no paid employees. Another 109,500 have between 1-4 staff. Just 7,700 have 50 or more employees. And perhaps 1,500-1,750 of these have surpassed the 100 employee threshold.
BC Jobs Part I: A Visual Summary of BC's 2016 Job Performance Within Canada
In this first of a two part series of blogs on BC Jobs, we provide an overview of employment growth in 2016 within a comparative national framework.
NEWS RELEASE: Budget 2017 Moves Toward Improved Business Competitiveness While Still Balancing the Books
Victoria - The Business Council of British Columbia welcomes today’s provincial budget, which managed to find room for tax relief while maintaining the government’s commitment to balance the budget. This is a noteworthy accomplishment at a time of global uncertainty and when most other provinces continue to face budgetary shortfalls. Keeping the books balanced reaffirms the government’s commitment to prudent fiscal management, and provides BC with some policy flexibility going forward.
“Delivering a balanced budget within a climate of modest economic growth and a mixed outlook for commodities sets BC apart and signals that the province is a stable place to invest and do business,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia. “We congratulate Minister de Jong and his cabinet colleagues for their continued focus on disciplined expenditure management.”
BC2035 is about creating a shared vision of BC’s future and laying down a pathway to realize that vision. It is about initiating conversations, fostering greater collaboration and getting politicians, policy makers, First Nations leaders, and business leaders to think about, prepare for and act on the future.
Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Retooled U.S. tax regime could erode Canada’s competitive advantage (Business in Vancouver)
As U.S. President Donald Trump settles into office and the Republican-controlled Congress begins work on its legislative agenda, it is clear that sweeping changes are in store for U.S. policies in several areas. Overall, the direction of change is likely to pose some significant economic challenges for Canada.
Assessing The New US Administration's Impact on BC's Natural Resource Industries
What the US Administration does on trade, energy and environmental policy matters to BC’s natural resource sectors, and to the overall health of our economy.
RELEASE: BCBC Welcomes Provincial Government Approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project
The Business Council of British Columbia welcomes today’s decision by the province to grant an environmental assessment certificate, with conditions, to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project and to confirm that this project has met the government’s five conditions. This is an important step in advancing a nationally significant project that will deliver benefits to British Columbia communities and workers while meeting growing global demand for oil.
Finlayson Op-ed: Trump's energy, environmental policies threat to Canadian business (Troy Media and Times Colonist)
As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to assume office, it is clear that major changes are in store for American climate and energy policy. Mr. Trump’s cabinet appointments, read in conjunction with the Republican Party’s platform in the 2016 election, leave little doubt that the United States will be adopting an approach to climate and energy policy that differs markedly from the one embraced by the outgoing Obama administration.
Five Important Stories Affecting the BC Business Community in 2016
A list of five important stories affecting the BC Business Community in 2016 from the Real Estate boom to the opening of the Microsoft Vancouver development centre.
Tapping into a "Motherload" of Opportunity
Women, particularly in the child-rearing years of 20-49 years, are less active than their male peers in the workforce. This particular group of sub-optimally engaged women exemplify “missed opportunity."
The Risks of Needing and Wanting 'Stuff'
People are afraid of the unknown but today’s risks are no more severe than those in the past.
RELEASE: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Enbridge Line 3 replacement approval
The Business Council of British Columbia supports the federal government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project as announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this afternoon.
“This decision recognizes that the Trans Mountain project and Enbridge Line 3 replacement are in the national interest and that there is a place for Canadian oil in global markets, even as the world shifts toward renewable and lower carbon energy forms and cleaner technology,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia. “Global demand for energy continues to grow and fossil fuels will be a major source of energy for decades to come. Canada’s responsibly sourced and well-regulated energy resources can play an important role in fulfilling this global demand.”
NEWS RELEASE: Business Council of BC Welcomes Report by Commission on Tax Competitiveness
The Business Council of British Columbia welcomes the report issued today by the Commission on Tax Competitiveness that was appointed several months ago to examine the structure and impact of business taxes and to provide policy options that will support growth and job creation in BC.
At a time of sluggish global economic growth, heightened competitive pressure for small regional economies, and accelerating technological change, it makes sense to review the role of tax policy in shaping the environment for business activity. Particularly for trade-dependent jurisdictions like British Columbia, a broadly competitive tax system is essential if we are to attract the investment and stimulate the entrepreneurial wealth creation needed to sustain jobs and grow incomes.
“The Commission on Tax Competitiveness’s report outlines a number of valuable recommendations for the provincial government to consider, including some that we hope will be taken up in the February 2017 budget, and others that can be acted on over the medium-term,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia. “The Business Council commends the provincial government for establishing the Commission. We look forward to the province acting on the Commissions’ recommendations to strengthen the foundations for BC’s economic prosperity.”
Finlayson Op-Ed: Economic silver linings for Canada in the Trump cloud (Troy Media)
Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the Presidential election, coupled with continued Republican control of both branches of the U.S. Congress, heralds significant changes in American policy in the domains of trade, immigration, foreign affairs, energy and taxation, among other areas. Many Canadians are understandably uneasy about the direction America may take under new leadership. At a minimum, Mr. Trump’s political ascendancy injects added stress and uncertainty into an already fragile and unsettled world.