New U.S. trade and investment office in Seattle promotes B.C. tech companies

Bruce Ralston

COMPANIES in British Columbia, especially those in the tech sector, will gain greater access to the U.S. market and investors through B.C.’s new Trade and Investment Office in Seattle.

The announcement of the office’s opening was made at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Seattle, Washington.

The Seattle Trade and Investment Office expands the B.C. government’s trade network in the United States, and will attract investment to the province, while connecting companies in British Columbia with venture capitalists, skilled tech workers and strategic partners.

Troy DeFrank is the director for the Pacific Northwest at B.C.’s Seattle Trade and Investment Office, bringing with him a decade of experience in international trade and investment. He joins the office following six years as a trade commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle where he supported cross-border trade, investment, and partnerships in the technology sector.

The Province is working to establish a Trade and Investment Office in the Silicon Valley. That new office will open later this fall, representing British Columbia in the most vibrant technology markets in the United States: California, the Boston-New York Corridor and the Pacific Northwest.

British Columbia’s trade and investment locations in the United States will continue to raise the province’s profile in the tech market and promote B.C. as a stable and attractive place to invest and do business.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, said: “It’s appropriate to announce the opening of our new trade office at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference as B.C. and Washington state work towards increasing regional economic opportunities along the corridor between province and state. Not only will it bring more investment to B.C. tech companies, it will also deepen the tech talent pool to mutually benefit companies on either side of the border.”


Quick Facts:


* The Province has an international presence through a network of Trade and Investment Representatives (TIRs).

* This network connects B.C. businesses with new markets and trade opportunities, and promotes British Columbia as a stable and attractive destination for investment and international students.

* B.C. currently has Trade and Investment Representatives (TIRs) in Japan, South Korea, India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Europe, and the United States.

* British Columbia is home to 14% of Canada’s tech businesses, and the province has seen a 1.9% rise in the number of new technology companies with employees in 2015, growing to over 9,900 businesses.

* B.C.’s tech sector produced approximately $26.3 billion in revenue in 2015, a rise of 5%. In 2015, the technology sector added $14.1 billion to B.C.’s GDP; contributing more than 11% of Canada’s tech total.

* B.C.’s tech commodity exports increased by 20.4% to just under $1.4 billion, representing 3.8% of the province’s overall exports.