Advantages

British Columbia has one of North America’s most competitive, flexible, and supportive business climates. The province consistently receives AAA credit ratings. Its vast resources, low taxes, stable and well-regulated financial system and fiscally responsible government attract investment from around the world.

  • The strategic location on Canada’s Pacific coast places British Columbia at the commercial crossroads of Asia-Pacific and North America. It is close to key markets and provides duty-free access to the U.S. and Mexico. Businesses using British Columbia’s ports take advantage of the shortest sea route from Asia to North America, which is seamlessly connected to all major U.S. economic centres by secure, reliable road and rail networks
  • British Columbia offers investment opportunities in many industry sectors, from resource extraction and development to advanced technology and knowledge-based industries.
  • The provincial tax credits, exemptions, and deductions help businesses invest and innovate.
  • The cost of doing business in British Columbia can be lower than in other locations in North America. Our corporate income tax rates and the cost of labour, power, and facilities give companies in British Columbia a competitive edge.

Workforce

British Columbia’s diverse, skilled and adaptable workforce is an asset for employers. With cosmopolitan cities, temperate climate and clean environment it is easy to recruit and retain top performers.

The province has a growing labour pool of more than 2.4 million workers and its highly educated, multi-lingual, and motivated workforce is responsive to the needs of businesses across industry sectors.

  • More than 70 per cent of workforce has completed post-secondary education and well over a quarter possesses a university degree.
  • A highly flexible workforce with more than 80 per cent employed in service industries, including a quarter in professional, educational and business support services.
  • Multilingualism is high – 360,000 British Columbia workers have one of the Chinese dialects as their first language. Another 194,000 have Punjabi, and 51,000 have Korean as their first language.

Provincial Incentives

British Columbia provides provincial tax credits and exemptions to encourage business investment and innovation. Certain incentives target specific industries, including: screen-based industries (film and television, interactive digital media), mining, natural gas, life sciences, and clean technology. Other incentives target specific business activities, such as certain international business activities, manufacturing, training, and research and development. Learn more here, Tax Incentives.

Sector Strengths

  • Agrifoods

    With a diverse and growing selection of agrifood products including Canadian wine and seafood, an international reputation for high food safety standards, and a favourable location for international shipping, British Columbia’s agrifoods sector is well positioned for investment and growth in both existing and new markets.
  • Forestry

    British Columbia’s forest industry has attractive investment opportunities in mills, forestry operations, the manufacturing of high-quality forest products and value-added wood products, and biofuels.
  • Mining

    British Columbia is internationally recognized as a centre of expertise in mining, metallurgy, environmental engineering, mine safety, and geoscience. The province is home to the world’s largest concentration of exploration companies and mining professionals, with more than 800 mining and mineral firms and 400 service suppliers choosing Vancouver as their base of global operations.
  • Natural Gas and LNG

    British Columbia’s strategic Pacific Rim location, abundant resources and supportive business environment ideally position the province to become a global leader in the supply of liquefied natural gas. Opportunities abound in B.C., with numerous natural gas projects identified and a strong government commitment to building this new industry.
  • Technology

     - including clean technology; information and communications technology (ICT) and wireless; film, television and digital media; and life sciences

    British Columbia’s reputation for technology innovation provides a range of investment opportunities. If you want to invest in a thriving technology or media sector, or do business with innovative companies in these sectors, explore the advantages British Columbia offers.

  • Tourism

    British Columbia is known around the world as an outstanding visitor destination. The province’s spectacular natural environment and welcoming, cosmopolitan cities provide memorable experiences and quality tourism products, as well as investment opportunities in tourism products and services.
  • Transportation

    There are significant investment opportunities, including building and maintaining transportation infrastructure, in British Columbia. Some of this work is done through public-private partnerships (P3s), an area where the province is a recognized leader.
Map of Canada with the province of British Colombia highlighted.

Provincial Profile

Population: 4,631,300

Major cities:
  • Vancouver and Lower Mainland,
  • Victoria,
  • Kelowna,
  • Kamloops,
  • Prince George