VANCOUVER: The Province is contributing to a regional Metro Vancouver bid to play host to Amazon’s second headquarters, Amazon HQ2, which could generate US$5 billion in investment and create up to 50,000 jobs in B.C., announced Premier John Horgan at the UBCM convention today.

The B.C. government is committing $50,000 to help Metro Vancouver partners, including the cities of Surrey and Vancouver, prepare their submission to Amazon’s request for proposal (RFP) for a second headquarters in North America.

“B.C. offers unlimited possibilities for tech companies like Amazon. We have a fast-growing tech sector and several U.S. companies, such as Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Sony Imageworks, have already established a presence here because of the talent base that B.C. offers,” Horgan said. “Amazon HQ2 is an opportunity to create thousands of well-paying jobs for the people of B.C., which will greatly benefit our communities and the tech sector and create spin-off benefits for related industries.”

Communities on Southern Vancouver Island, including Langford, are preparing to submit proposals for consideration by Amazon. The Province encourages the submission of comprehensive bids that establish why B.C. has a competitive edge over other North American jurisdictions, and B.C. will consider supporting those bids.

“B.C. offers many attractive advantages, from our proximity to Asia and partnership with Washington state, through the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, to our competitive business and tax incentives and booming tech sector. A headquarters of this scope would greatly increase our province’s economic standing in North America and the world,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

The Vancouver Economic Commission is co-ordinating the bid process with the City of Surrey and the City of Vancouver. With the participation of the Province, the partners have formed a steering committee. Deloitte has been selected to compile this regional bid proposal, which will be submitted to Amazon by Oct. 19, 2017, the deadline for all RFP respondents.

“The groundswell of support from key stakeholders in the business and technology community and the mobilization of partners across Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland has been electrifying to watch,” said Ian McKay, CEO of Vancouver Economic Commission. “To fulfil the RFP and address all eight key decision drivers, we knew we would require extensive inter-sectoral and cross-regional data compilation. We are grateful to all the individuals and organizations who have stepped up to provide support and guidance. This is a unique opportunity to create a new process and template document for us to build upon for regional foreign direct investment attraction opportunities in the future.”

“Metro Vancouver, particularly Surrey, has a robust tech sector that attracts and develops new talent through our world-class post-secondary institutions,” said Linda Hepner, mayor of Surrey. “When you factor in the region’s growth, strategic location and high quality of life, I am confident our bid will undoubtedly show why Metro Vancouver is the ideal and smart choice for Amazon’s second headquarters in North America.”

“The Amazon HQ2 bid represents a significant opportunity to highlight the strategic competitive advantage this region offers to a global business leader like Amazon,” said Greg Moore, board chair of Metro Vancouver. “Through our Regional Prosperity Initiative, Metro Vancouver recognizes the need for strong collaboration between the Province, Metro Vancouver municipalities and the business community to help us compete against other North American urban centres, and we are very pleased to see the Province of B.C. recognizes the potential strength of such a partnership in pursuing Amazon’s HQ2.”