BCBC: British Columbia’s new economic development plan lacks meaningful measures to attract investment

BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Business Council of British Columbia thank you minister Ravi Kahlon and the provincial government for their new economic development plan, which offers a vision of an inclusive and clean British Columbia. The Business Council supports this vision and promotes a sustainable economy for the benefit of British Columbians living in communities across the province today and for future generations. While we will work with government to achieve these results, the plan as presented does not adequately address some of the key conditions needed to achieve this vision that we all want for our province.

“Prosperity must first be generated before it can be effectively shared and sustainably provide the supports and services that our society and our families rely on,” said Greg d’AvignonPresident and CEO, Business Council of BC “In our opinion, this plan offers an attractive vision of what British Columbia can become, but it does not contain the material measures required and does not send a strong enough signal to the national or international business community. that government can provide the certainty needed for new investments, including ESG capital, to flow or grow in the province, to ultimately help fund this vision.

“Today, British Columbia does not have the welcoming conditions needed to attract the private sector investment needed to realize the full potential of the province’s advantages in natural resources, innovation or people. As a more competitive world emerges from COVID-19, other jurisdictions are more attractive to investors and offer greater certainty. Provincially and nationally, we are a relatively high-tax jurisdiction with an uncertain and inefficient regulatory environment that has become too costly and complex.

The reality is that British Columbia is a small, open economy that depends on trade and investment to grow the economic pie and our individual and collective well-being. Just as individuals leave their homes to generate income that becomes their personal income, so does British Columbia. Unfortunately, the government’s new economic development plan offers little on how we will develop our exportsand developing and retaining innovative businesses that enable higher wages and higher per capita economic growth.

the The OECD predicts that, based on its GDP per capita growth rates, Canada will be the worst performing advanced economy over the next decade unless we act. British Columbia ranks around the Canadian average for real GDP per capita growth, which is directly linked to higher wages and a better quality of life for future generations. There is no reason to expect a different fate for the province over time other than an erosion of our common standard of living. Significant policy action must be taken to position British Columbia and Canada as innovative, investable economies capable of delivering emissions reductions, inclusiveness, and better health and social services for today. today and for generations to come.

The business community is ready, as we have during natural disasters and the pandemic, to partner quickly, with a common purpose, to realize our full potential for people and communities. For the province to be successful in achieving its goals of creating a more inclusive and sustainable economy that works for all British Columbians, several other elements are essential for the plan to improve the economic prosperity of British Columbians and have a meaningful impact. :

Encourage and support our most productive industries: Improving the conditions and factors that encourage private sector investment in machinery and equipment, innovation and labor productivity enhancing technologies that increase production by working smarter and more efficiently.

kiss exports: Exporting offers widespread economic benefits and is essential to advancing prosperity. Export growth in British Columbia has lagged the rest of the economy and our global competitors. Ensuring that British Columbia develops and maintains competitive hosting conditions for businesses in sectors that generate export revenues should be at the heart of an inclusive, innovative and sustainable provincial economic growth strategy.

To bring greater regulatory certainty: Capital is mobile, and even ESG-focused dollars seek safe and stable investments in predictable climates that can yield a decent return on investment. A key lever that government can use to create a strong economy is to ensure that their regulatory structures are inexpensive, clear and timely, not cutting corners but enabling efficient decision-making processes.

One area where British Columbia has a distinct global advantage and which can support an inclusive and clean economy in communities across the province is our low carbon natural resource products, including minerals, LNG and forest products. We have an inordinate opportunity to support a global reduction in GHGs by commercializing BC’s low-carbon resource products. This opportunity is also driving important partnerships, meaningful reconciliation, and unique sources of revenue for Indigenous peoples and their nations. To achieve this goal, it is essential to have policies and a framework in place that provide a globally competitive carbon tax and regulatory certainty to advance low-carbon exports, innovations and energy. technology adoption for our most productive industries.

“The Business Council applauds the government’s announcement today of a new business and technical complex at BCIT and other efforts as part of the plan to support enhanced skills training so that British Columbians are prepared. to participate in the economy of the future,” said D’Avignon. “We also commend the government for follow our advice to create an Indigenous economic development agency, and we look forward to supporting them in this endeavour, as well as other initiatives mentioned in the plan, including the expansion of life sciences, agritech and the center of ESG excellence.

A more inclusive and sustainable society and economy that supports household income growth, lifts people out of poverty, and provides opportunities for people to upgrade their skills so they can participate in the future economy is a fair business essential to the well-being of all British Columbians. It is also the result of a strong economy.

“BC needs an economic plan that is more focused on attracting investment, increasing the size of the per capita economic pie and scaling businesses rather than a vision that contains no tangible measure or plan to act quickly on our benefits,” added D’Avignon.

The Business Council is committed to working with the province to achieve our shared goals of a more inclusive, innovative and sustainable BC economy and society.