06
JUN
2013
comment : 316

New organization aims to expand trade and investment between Scotland and British Columbia

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (June 6, 2013)—Today marks the launch of British Columbia’s first Scottish Canadian Business Association: ScotCanBC. ScotCanBC is a volunteer led, not-for-profit organization that supports the expansion of trade and investment between Scotland and British Columbia.

Scotland and Canada’s close ties inspired ScotCanBC’s creation. Census data highlights that 20% of people living in British Columbia and 15% of all Canadians claim Scottish descent – the third largest ethnic group in Canada.

“Scottish Canadians have played crucial roles in establishing some of Canada’s major enterprises, including The Bank of Montreal and The Globe and Mail,” says, Ross McDonald, President of ScotCanBC. “British Columbians with Scottish heritage who have enjoyed success in the business world include Jim Pattison, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and President and CEO of the Vancouver Board of Trade, Iain Black. ScotCanBC hopes to leverage our shared heritage, mutual goodwill and existing trade and investment relationships to foster new business links and strengthen the bond between Scotland and British Columbia.”

In 2011, Scottish exports to Canada were £320 million (approximately $500 million). There are over 30 Scottish companies operating in Canada with many more doing business with Canadian partners. In 2012, British Columbia exports to the UK were $328 million. Opportunities for increased trade span multiple industries including forestry, energy, food and drink, technology, life sciences and tourism.

“Scotland and British Columbia’s economic ties date back to the early fur trade when Scots led and managed two of Canada most iconic companies, the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company. Today, Canada is one of Scotland’s biggest inward investors, with nearly 40 Canadian companies operating in Scotland and supporting more than 2,500 jobs,” notes Raymond McGovern, Senior Vice President of Scottish Development International (SDI), who helped spearhead the creation of the association. “Both locations are experiencing mutual economic impact, and we hope that the collective effort of ScotCanBC will translate to increased trade and investment.”

The official launch of ScotCanBC takes place at an event tonight, which will feature a keynote speech from Dr. Lena Wilson, CEO of Scottish Enterprise, and include over 70 guests from BC’s Scottish Canadian business community.

About ScotCanBC
ScotCanBC is a volunteer led, not-for-profit organization that seeks to expand trade and investment between Scotland and British Columbia, Canada. ScotCanBC will host four events a year to share knowledge about commercial opportunities in Scotland and BC; to connect people, companies and government agencies; and to showcase companies that have benefited from trade and investment support. Membership and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information about ScotCanBC please visit www.scotcanbc.org or email wecan@scotcanbc.org.

About SDI
SDI is a joint venture between the Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise which helps overseas businesses tap into Scotland’s key strengths in knowledge, high level skills, technology and innovation. SDI also works to help Scottish companies do more business overseas and to promote Scotland as a good place to live and work. Its work is guided by the Scottish Government’s strategy for economic development in Scotland.

SDI established its operations in Canada in February 2011 with the opening of a Toronto office and opened an office in Calgary a year later. For more information about SDI, contact: Scottish Development International, 777 Bay Street, Suite 2800, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2G2 Canada. Telephone: 416-408-4334 or visit www.sdi.co.uk.