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Vancouver shows up on the international shipping community’s radar as the best location globally for setting up operations

The federal Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are partnering with the International Ship-Owners Alliance of Canada (ISAC) to bring international shipping company operations to Vancouver. The partnership efforts have reestablished the Vancouver International Maritime Centre (VIMC) which will promote Vancouver to the international shipping industry as the preferred maritime centre location.

The B.C. government is contributing $1 million to re-vitalize the Vancouver IMC and diversify British Columbia’s economy. The province has committed to an additional $2 million over the next two years with all of the funding to be used by the non-profit Vancouver IMC for the development and execution of an investment attraction strategy aimed at strengthening the province’s shipping industry. The federal government has also committed $3 million over three years to match the funding from the Province of B.C., and ISAC will provide an additional $300,000.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our government has pursued the most ambitious trade agenda in Canada’s history,” said the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East. “Our investment will help the Vancouver International Maritime Center position itself as a global hub for worldwide international shipowners and promote the benefits of doing business in Canada.”

“An economy that is diversified through contributions from multiple sectors is our insurance policy during a time when the global economy remains fragile,” said Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism. “We have a re-invigorated the local shipbuilding industry in the province, and now this new innovative partnership with the Vancouver International Maritime Centre will re-fuel the shipping sector so that its well-paying jobs can be offered to British Columbians.”

This initiative, to attract international shipping head offices to Vancouver, capitalizes on Canada’s opportunities as a Pacific Gateway and as a maritime province to create high-value knowledge jobs associated with global trade.

Expanded scope of Canada’s international shipping tax regime
Legislative changes to Canada’s Income Tax Act made on December 16, 2014, have expanded the application of Canada’s shipping tax legislation making Canada an extremely competitive location for the international shipping community. Shipping activities have been redefined to include a broad range of corporate activities such as vessel management, finance, head and back office services. Simply put, foreign companies can manage their international shipping businesses from Canada without their Canadian or foreign activities being subject to tax in Canada.

“Canada’s clearly defined and newly affirmed international shipping tax rules, coupled with Canada’s stable economic and political environment, provide fiscal certainty for shipowners,” says PwC International Tax Partner and Shipping Industry Leader Mike Shields. He adds, “These recent amendments strengthen Canada’s position as one of the most attractive tax regimes in the world for international shipping companies.”

Vancouver on the global stage for international business
Canada has been ranked the best country in the G-20 to do business, has the second highest standard of living in the G-20 and leads all G-7 countries regarding economic growth, according to the World Bank. The World Economic Forum has declared its banking system to be the soundest in the world. Canada’s stable political environment, universal healthcare system, world-class universities, and high-tech capacity allow Vancouver to compete better than ever with business capitals around the world.

The opportunities in Vancouver are evident to companies such Teekay and Seaspan, and to nonshipping giants that have come to Vancouver such as Microsoft, Google, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Amazon, Hootsuite, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

Vancouver has become one of the most attractive locations for international shipping companies. The VIMC promotes Vancouver as a location for international shipping companies, and assists interested companies in developing their operations on the west coast of North America.

“The volume of global seaborne trade is predicted to rise from nine billion metric tonnes per year to between 19-24 billion by 2030 due to the demand for resources by China and India,” says VIMC Executive Director Kaity Arsoniadis-Stein. “Vancouver, situated on the Pacific corridor, has exceptional professional corporate services, including taxation and legal, to support international shipping businesses. In addition, Vancouver can boast its very own Vancouver Maritime Arbitrators Association which is another added benefit to a maritime cluster.”

VIMC Founding Chairman, and current CEO and Chairman Graham Clarke adds, “By building a maritime hub that brings together products, companies and expert services, Canada will gain the advantage of the resulting relationships, synergies and high-level jobs creation”.

He further notes, “With an export dependent economy, Canada knows well that shipowners need to keep operating costs efficient in order to keep their services and their customers’ products competitive. We look forward to increasing the economies of scale by attracting more shipping companies to Vancouver. This will be good for both existing and new companies, as the talent pool expands. The upscale jobs and skills that they will bring will be good for all Canadians”.
Source: Vancouver International Maritime Centre

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