British Columbia

Dernière mise à jour le
Jul 19, 2024

British Columbia in figures

Taux de chômage
PIB par habitant
Dette publique
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Le contexte socio-économique

With a nominal GDP of CAD 306.3 billion in 2019, British Columbia (B.C.) represents 13.3% of Canadian GDP, making it the fourth province behind Ontario, Quebec and Alberta in terms of economic results. The province also constitutes The third destination region for immigrants in 2019 and she is One of the least indebted provinces in Canada.

The provincial government

The B.C. provincial government takes care of activities such as education, health, and highways, and enacts laws that affect the people of the province. Victoria is the administrative capital and the seat of Parliament. The Legislative Assembly consists of 87 deputies Elected first-past-the-post system, for a term of 4 years.

British Columbia has a Majority government New Democrat. The 42E The legislature was elected on 24 October 2020. The prime minister of the province is John Horgan (for a second term) and the lieutenant governor is Janet Austin. The official opposition is formed by the Liberal Party of British Columbia.

Les bâtiments du Parlement de Colombie-Britannique, situés à Victoria, servent de siège à l'Assemblée législative de la Colombie-Britannique.
The British Columbia Parliament Buildings, located in Victoria, serve as the seat of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly.

The economy of the province

The BC government's vision for the province's economic future is that of a inclusive, sustainable and innovative economy. The province offers investment and business opportunities in numerous industrial sectors and attracts investors from all over the world. Its significant natural, energy, mining and forest resources, its diversified economy, its diversified economy, its low taxes, and its stable and well-regulated financial system represent major assets for investors.

The province's GDP is composed of 75.7% of service production and 24.3% of goods production. In 2019, industrial production represented 13.4% of the province's GDP, the energy sector accounted for 5.5%, and the information and communications technology (ICT) sector accounted for 4.5% of the province's GDP. As for the destination of exports, in 2019, 50.6% of the value of exports was to the United States, 14.5% to China and 10.3% to Japan.

The B.C. market is supported by fully integrated port, rail, and highway systems. Vancouver is a preferred correspondence platform. to Asian markets in full growth and represents a leading international transport hub, thanks to the Port of Vancouver, the largest port in the country and the closest to Asia. It connects the province's forest industry with more than 170 economies around the world, while the port of Prince Rupert, located in northern B.C., is home to the deepest natural harbor in North America and The fastest shipping route from North America to China.

Canada Place est un bâtiment situé sur le front de mer de la baie Burrard, dans le port de Vancouver.
Canada Place is a building located on the waterfront of Burrard Bay in Vancouver Harbor. The building was built during the 1986 International Exposition (Expo 86).

THEVancouver International Airport (YVR) is also regularly recognized by passengers as the best airport in North America. It's the second busiest airport in Canada.

The main economic assets and the flagship industries

The Greater Vancouver region is the economic heart of the province with 2.7 million inhabitants. Companies and research institutes based in the region are internationally recognized and are global engines for research, experimentation and innovation.

Agrotechnological industries

British Columbia has over 150 agri-tech companies, the largest employing more than 100 people.

The provincial government is continually exploring new ways to support increased food production and food processing innovation, while ensuring that world-class sustainability, quality, and safety standards are met. Regional expertise has thus developed in the fields of vertical farming, agricultural robotics, agricultural genomics, cellular agriculture, as well as technologies for food processing and waste reduction.

In 2019, the province's agri-tech sector generated approximately $500 million in revenue.

Digital media and entertainment industries

Because of its competitive tax credits and significant financial support from the provincial government For film production, television, and interactive digital media, British Columbia has earned a reputation as one of the world's leading creative media centers. The province is providing substantial support to digital sectors through organizations such as Creative BC and DigiBC and programs like the Canada Media Fund.

The region is an international center for the production of console games and has 600 digital media companies and leading creative game groups like EA (Electronic Arts), microsoft, Relic Entertainment (Sega), Eastside Games, IGG Games, Kabam (Net Marble). In total, these businesses employ more than 16,000 workers across the province.

BC is also an emerging hub for virtual and augmented reality technology. The Greater Vancouver area has over 260 immersive virtual reality technology companies, including Microsoft, Cloudhead Games and Archiact ; thus placing the region just behind the famous Silicon Valley. In total, these immersive technology companies generated $2.3 billion in annual revenue in 2019.

British Columbia is also The largest full-service movie center in Canada, the third in North America and is Considered one of the top five film production centers in the world. The province offers a diverse range of production locations with nearly 250,000 square meters of studio space across the province. Commonly referred to as”North Hollywood”, the city of Vancouver is considered a global center for animation and special effects, film and television and is home to some of the most big studios of the world.

La ville de Vancouver est classée parmi les meilleures villes au monde où vivre.
The city of Vancouver is ranked among the best cities in the world to live in.

Clean technology

British Columbia is at the forefront of green innovation. With the Canada's highest tech sector growth rates, the province has companies that are among the world leaders. These focus on water and waste management, clean transport, desalination treatment, carbon capture, and renewable energies.

The region matters 200 businesses generating $1.7 billion in annual sales. B.C.'s top clean and climate tech companies are Awesense, Axine Water Technologies, Ballard Power Systems, Damon Motorcycles, General Fusion, MineSense Technologies, Saltworks Technologies, Svante. In addition, 3,000 students graduate each year from engineering and applied science programs offered by the province.

In 2021, the Government of BC partnered with the Government of Canada and the company Shell To establish a new center for innovation and clean energy, with initial funding of $105 million. The centre will bring together innovators, industry representatives, governments, and academia to accelerate the commercialization and scale-up of clean energy technologies across the province.

Vancouver is also ranked among the top 10 cleantech cities in the world by the Global Cleantech Cluster Association.

British Columbia is also a leader in the use of zero emission vehicles (ZEV) with the highest adoption of ZEV per capita in North America. The province has one of the largest public charging networks in Canada, with over 2,500 public charging stations at the end of 2020.

State-of-the-art technology

The high-tech sector is in booming in the Greater Vancouver Area. In 2019, Vancouver has been named one of the top 25 cities in the world for its startup ecosystem and the number one city for job growth in the high-tech sector in Canada, placing it at 15th place worldwide.

Businesses in the province have a global reputation in quantum computing systems in the aerospace, biomedical, and manufacturing sectors.

Additionally, British Columbia is the second largest artificial intelligence center (AI) and is in the process of becoming a global hub for research in this field. Supported by government programs and research generated by universities and laboratories in the region, many Canadian AI companies are settling in B.C. Established international technology companies, like Amazon, Table, fujitsu, Change Healthcare are also looking to the province to increase their AI capacity, strengthening the province's reputation as a hub for digital technology and innovation. The proximity of the Greater Vancouver region to the most important global software development centers (Portland, Seattle) is also encouraging the growth of the sector.

The governments of Canada and B.C. also offer a range of initiatives to support the AI sector, such as the BC Tech Fund, a $100 million venture capital fund that invests in emerging technology companies such as D-Wave, the world's leading commercial supplier of quantum computers.

Les spécificités du marché du travail par secteurs d’activité

The natural resource sectors (forestry, mining, mining, agri-food, and energy) represent approximately half of the province's economic base. The economy of British Columbia remains dependent on natural resource exports. The province's international exports represent CAD 43.5 billion, or 8% of Canadian exports. A significant part of manufacturing activity is directly linked to the processing of raw materials. Together, wood (7.5 billion CAD), coal (6.7 billion CAD), and natural gas (2.7 billion CAD) accounted for 39% of the province's exports in 2019.

Access services represent 14% of the province's economic base. They include transportation and logistics services associated with Vancouver and Prince Rupert seaports, Vancouver International Airport, and British Columbia's road and rail transportation systems.

Together, natural resources and access services represent two-thirds of the province's economic base. Other manufacturing activities contribute 16% to export earnings, while the high-tech and film production sectors contribute 6%. Finally, exports of tourism, leisure and financial services, insurance and real estate contribute 7% to export earnings.


The impressive size of British Columbia (944,735 km²), its diverse geography and temperate climate facilitate the cultivation of a wide range of foods. In 2018, the province exported $4.5 billion worth of agricultural products, seafood, and processed foods to 149 countries. The United States is the largest export market, with a value of over 3 billion dollars. Other important export markets are China with a value of $532 million, Japan with $532 million, Japan with $224 million, South Korea with $73 million, and Hong Kong with $73 million.

Farms and ranches in British Columbia produce beef, dairy, chicken, dairy, chicken, turkey, chicken, turkey, eggs, pork, mutton, lamb, and other animals and animal products. The province exported over $364 million worth of animals and animal products in 2018. Farmers produced 245,400 tonnes of grains and oilseeds in 2018, including wheat, canola, oats and barley.

In addition, production in the agricultural subsector increased by 11.5% in volume due to the acceleration of The legal cannabis production.

British Columbia is The Canada's second wine-growing province. Its wine industry is recognized worldwide and includes more than 350 approved establishments. More than 80 different grape varieties are produced in the province, with the 10 main grape varieties being Merlot, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah.

British Columbia also produces ciders, beers, and spirits (whiskey and vodka) by hand, and is recognized as a high-quality producer of glacial spring water and a variety of fruit and vegetable juices.

Plateau de dégustation en bois avec un assortiment d'échantillons de bière, de cidre et d'hydromel.
Wooden tasting tray with an assortment of beer, cider, and mead samples.

Fisheries and aquaculture

The seafood sector produces over 100 different species wild and farmed fish, crustaceans and marine plants, thanks to fishing areas, World-renowned salmon farming rivers and pristine ocean farming areas.

These rich fish and seafood crops are shipped to markets in Asia, Europe, and North America. Major exports include salmon, crab, shrimp, geoduck clams, hake, herring, herring, halibut, tuna, sea urchins, oysters, sablefish, clams, clams, flounder, and sea cucumbers.

British Columbia counts six species approved to display the label of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC): halibut, hake, albacore tuna, red salmon, chum salmon and pink salmon. The MSC “Sustainable Fishing” label guarantees that the fish have been fished responsibly and with respect for the marine environment and that fisheries have respected the following 3 fundamental principles: sustainable fish stocks, minimized environmental impact and effective fisheries management.


Logging is a very important economic activity in British Columbia, making the province one of the largest exporters of wood products in the world. Environ 80,000 jobs depend directly on forest harvesting across the province.

Forests cover 56% of the total area of the region which contains one of the only temperate rainforests in North America. The trees that grow there are suitable for the wood trade and the construction sector (frames, furniture, boats).

Logging in British Columbia accounts for approximately 33% of all forest harvesting in Canada, making it the province with the largest market share. Revenues from the lumber industry can reach up to $14 billion annually. The industry is the most efficient inland. Forestry accounts for 60% of all industry in the province.

The province is also home to numerous small and medium-sized businesses offering a wide range of wood products, including treated wood, engineered wood, split shingles, as well as paper pulp, biomass, and wood pellets.


The mining industry is busy The third rank in the economic sector in British Columbia. The province has numerous copper, gold and zinc mines, but the most important resources remain coal, oil and natural gas. The total value of extracted minerals is estimated at 5.7 billion Canadian dollars, while exploration investments amounted to 367 million dollars in 2019.

Energy products represented around 28% of international exports in 2019. In comparison, agricultural and fishery products account for 5% of international exports, while automotive, aeronautical, electronic, electrical and industrial machinery equipment represent 5% of international exports, while automotive, aeronautical, electronic, electrical and industrial machinery equipment account for 12.3%.

The province's budget also financially supports the continued growth of the mining sector, with more than 600 million dollars spent on mineral exploration in 2021. This represents an increase of 50% compared to the previous year. This is the highest amount invested in the decade, as demand for minerals is rising around the world. This is because of the key role that minerals will play in a low-carbon future.


Tourism is an important part of British Columbia's economy and is constantly growing. La province receives annually more than 15 million visitors from all over the world.

We can find in the region 7 National parks and over 600 well-maintained provincial parks, the largest number of glaciers in North America as well as 6,500 islands along the Pacific Coast, the largest number of resident wild animal species in the country and 13 internationally renowned ski resorts including that of Whistler, which hosted the Nordic events of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Le parc provincial China Beach sur l'île de Vancouver.
China Beach Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.

Le commerce international et les accords commerciaux

With regard to export, British Columbia plays a predominant role in Canada. In fact, it offers the greatest diversity among Canadian provinces and exports its products to the United States, Japan, the European Union and the countries of the Pacific basin.

THECanada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed on January 1, 1994, which was intended to facilitate trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada. In addition to being the most ambitious trade agreement in history, NAFTA also created The largest free trade area in the world and brought together two rich developed countries and one less developed State. The agreement thus made it possible to promote the development of international trade by removing tariff and non-tariff customs barriers and national regulations that could restrict the importation of goods and services. In 2017, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, threatened to renegotiate the agreement or even cancel it. After numerous renegotiations, NAFTA was replaced by CUSMA on 1Er July 2020. This new agreement facilitates the temporary entry of businessmen and women who have American, Mexican or Canadian citizenship and who are engaged in trade in goods or services or in investment activities. The agreement also removes the need for all businessmen and women subject to it to obtain a labour market impact assessment. Finally, in the case of professionals and intra-company transferees, CUSMA speeds up the application process because the application can be submitted at the country's point of entry.

The European Union (EU) is the second largest trading partner. THEComprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union provides Canadian businesses with preferential access to the EU market and excellent growth opportunities in this region. September 21, 2022 marks the fifth anniversary of the provisional application of CETA. The agreement will come into full force when all EU member states have completed the ratification process. Until then, the provisional application of CETA continues and remains accessible to Canadian and European businesses. Since its creation, CETA has enabled a significant increase in bilateral trade and offered a particularly favourable context for entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic. British Columbia thus offers interesting prospects for French companies wishing to set up and develop in North America.

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