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American Shipper

Vancouver, B.C. aspires to become “central hub” for China’s trade with North America

Vancouver, B.C. aspires to become “central hub” for China’s trade with North America

Vancouver, B.C. aspires to become “central hub” for China’s trade with North America

   Gordon Houston, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Port Authority, said that West Coast Canadian ports have an opportunity “to become the central hub for China’s burgeoning trade with North America.”

   “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 told the Vancouver Board of Trade.

   The CEO of the Vancouver port urged the leadership of other British Columbia ports to come together to develop a comprehensive and integrated ports strategy for the province.

   “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,” he said. “But none of these efforts are coordinated.

   Besides Vancouver, the other main British Columbia ports are Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Squamish and Fraser Port.

   These British Columbia ports have “a tremendous opportunity” over the next 10 to 15 years to capitalize on forecast growth in trade with China and other Asia Pacific nations, generating “billions of dollars in investment and tens of thousands of new jobs in Canada,” according to the Canadian port executive.

   Houston recently returned from a trade mission to China with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell and other public and private sector leaders from the province.

   He noted that China accounted for 60 per cent of the world’s export growth last year and will lead the world in economic and trade expansion for years to come. China is the port of Vancouver’s second largest trading partner by volume, and its largest partner in the container trade.

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