VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) has said it plans to work together with other gateway ports in B.C. to develop a comprehensive and integrated ports strategy for the province.
VPA president, Capt. Gordon Houston, addressed the Vancouver Board of Trade last week, where he said "Today in the province of British Columbia, each of our independent port authorities is developing strategies, building new facilities, encouraging private sector investment and trying to attract new business customers. But none of these efforts are coordinated."
He added: “I believe we must utilize our ports and other transportation assets in British Columbia in a strategic and coordinated way to ensure that we capture the greatest possible share of future growth in Pacific Rim trade for our province and our country.”
Houston also said he believes transportation will be the next growth industry in B.C., generating billions of dollars in investment and tens of thousands of new jobs.
“But to realize this opportunity, we have to work together,” Houston said. “In many cases we are competing with one another, rather than working together to strategically develop and market our ports to maximize the share of North American trade that flows through B.C.”
Houston, who recently returned from a trade mission to China, said that country accounted for 60 per cent of the world’s export growth last year. China is the VPA’s second largest trading partner by volume, and it’s largest in the container trade side of operations.
“We have an opportunity to become the central hub for China’s burgeoning trade with North America,” Houston said. “And it’s not just the Port of Vancouver that will benefit. The ports of Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Squamish and Fraser Port all have an opportunity to develop new business, new jobs and new economic activity for the regions they serve.”
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