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BC is the 'clear leader' of Canada's tech economy: report

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Eric Zimmer Nov 22, 2018 10:08 am 113

BC’s tech economy has once again taken its place as a “clear leader” in Canada’s tech economy, according to a new report from audit and tax advisory firm, KPMG LLP.

The report rates the tech sector’s performance in the provincial and global economies, as well as its potential to grow.

While the BC tech sector has enjoyed its overall ‘A’ status since 2014 when compared to other BC industries, this year’s report marks the first time it has earned an ‘A’ grade when compared to tech economies in other provinces.

In total, the report said BC’s tech sector is responsible for 7% of the province’s economy and is ranked first amongst the province’s various industries in terms of growth.

The last two years have seen the BC tech sector’s revenue increase by 11.9%, it added. And the number of medium- to large-sized companies based in BC has grown over the last two years, as well.

“I’m proud to see BC’s tech sector get a third straight A on economic outputs,” said BC Tech president and CEO Jill Tipping. “Strong anchor tech companies at the heart of our ecosystem are extremely important to enrich the talent pool, create spinoffs, and provide proven pathways to scale.”

BC’s job minister Bruce Ralston echoed Tipping’s thoughts.

“This strong A-grade shows that tech companies continue to create good jobs throughout our province,” he said. “A strong economy needs thriving industries, and our government is committed to the tech sector’s continued success in all areas, particularly the natural resource sector.”

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The report also found that momentum in the province’s tech economy extends beyond Vancouver’s borders, such as in places like the Okanagan.

“The Okanagan tech sector has grown 15% each year since 2013, and we’re now home to almost 700 technology companies,” said Raghwa Gopal, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “This report card has lots of good news for BC.”

With all the good news, the report found that some challenges still remain.

Those challenges were clear when it came to input indicators, which received a B-, consistent with the 2016 report.

“Province-wide, leaders in tech and government see a need to build on our strengths, invest in our people and push forward,” the report said. “It is necessary to build the sectors’ momentum and work to identify solutions to challenges through collaboration with public policy leaders and educational institutions.”

KPMG’s Jameel Ahamed furthered this point.

“From our discussions with senior leaders at the helm of BC-based technology firms, there is a clear need for even more anchor technology companies that call BC home. Companies that will form the backbone of a vibrant tech community,” he said. “The opportunity is here, and it is our collective responsibility to come together to realize it and take our rapidly growing tech sector to the next level.”

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