A recently released Greater Victoria Development Agency (GDVA) export study recommends maximizing the global and local visibility of the region’s technology companies as a key factor for enhancing the region’s export capacity.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to expand by helping more companies go international,” said Dallas Gislason, Economic Development Officer with GVDA. “What this translates into is a potential for household sustaining jobs, opportunities for families and young people to grow careers right here in Greater Victoria.”
According to Developing Greater Victoria’s Export Capacity, Greater Victoria exports are often not basic goods but rather “services and highly engineered products that have derived from intense innovation, human intelligence and technological advancement.”
“In Victoria, we have a term, ‘the second floor economy,’ that so-called hidden sector on the second and third floors of our downtown that drives the exports from this region,” says Victoria Major Lisa Helps, speaking at the announcement of the report’s findings. “The evidence that’s released today in this report shows the fundamental importance of these companies to our future.”
The announcement of the report, made on December 17 at Neverblue —one of the region’s largest technology firms that does business in 160 countries — also highlighted current key markets, identified potential markets and gave recommendations for enhancing export capacity.
The study resulted from four months of research that engaged 150 local companies — approximately 10 per cent of the region’s exporting companies — on how the region can grow small companies into job creators. The research was conducted as part of the $1.5-million Trade and Investment Program launched in April of 2014, in response to the stagnant economic growth in the region.
Solutions recommended in the report include:
– Maximize visibility of Greater Victoria’s export, innovation, and entrepreneurial firms both within the region and to a global audience.
– Increase awareness for existing trade finance and market access programs and organizations within the Greater Victoria region.
– Develop the export capacity of small- and medium-sized companies in Greater Victoria through education, mentorship, programming, and on going engagement with companies to ensure progress.
– Encourage local governments to take a more active role in fostering growth-oriented companies.
The full Developing Greater Victoria’s Export Capacity report is available online.
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