Vancouver, a city with more than 630.000 inhabitants. The city is located on the Strait of Georgia, a part of the Pacific Ocean that borders Vancouver Island. Vancouver is an agglomeration, also called Greater Vancouver (Greater Vancouver) and consists of 21 municipalities. About 2.6 million people live in the agglomeration.

Ruppert Potter and Paul Kleijne – Trade & Investment Representative – Europe British educated and multicultural inhabitants in Vancouver, which has also affected on the business environment. British Columbia is attractive among entrepreneurs around the world because of the location, dynamic tech communities and there is a competitive business climate which is combined with a well-developed investment system.

The Clean technology sector is very upcoming a popular in the region, there are approximately 300 clean tech companies in the Vancouver area. 1 of the 10 companies uses cleantech goods or services in Canada. The government has created a program in 2018 with the aim to stimulate innovations projects with the focus on clean and renewable energy, called; Clean BC. A couple of Dutch organisations already have settled in the region, among others Orga World, Foru Solution and Jaga Climate Change.

British Columbia has a few Key Sectors in the region: ICT including E-commerce and enterprise software, Digital Media including Film & TV and gaming, Life Science including Healthcare technologies and biotechnology, Transportation, Clean Tech including Energy management and water and environmental technology and Emerging Tech including Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. There are many more sub-categories per sector mentioned in the presentations from Rupert Potter.

Rene Borghouts – Deputy Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is living in Vancouver since 2019. One of the remarkable things in the region is the beautiful nature combined with the outdoor activities. The Western part of Canada does not have much cultural differences, that is because of the shared history of World War ll. There are 1 million Canadian people have a Dutch descent. But there are a lot of different nationalities in Vancouver which makes the city diverse and easier to blend in and adapt when you are from abroad. British Columbia is almost 25 times bigger than The Netherlands, which is reflected in their way of doing business. The Canadians are are very fond of their space and time. As business partner it is very important to get to know your Canadian partner and visit them, if possible. And one of the most mentioned comments of cultural differences with Dutch people is about being too direct.

John McPherson – Sector Development Manager, Cleantech, Vancouver Economic Commission informed us about the city in combination with the popular Cleantech sector. In 1972 Vancouver changed the direction and environment in the city, they wanted to make Vancouver a liveable city which was realised the years after the new concept had been introduced. The city of Vancouver has multiple goals regarding climate actions; they are in the top 10 of Global Cleantech cluster, Lowest footprint per capital in North America and the transforming industries are growing with 6% green jobs per year.

Strada Networks is an organisation that provides consultancy and sells IT hardware, which is founded by Remy Smit and his brother. One of the reasons that Strada Networks started in British Columbia is because the government facilities a lot of opportunities for starting a business in BC and Canada is very friendly towards immigrants. During their journey they have experienced that there are some differences in rules and regulations, therefor they hired a local financial consultant to help them with local rules and regulations for taxes which is also a tip for different subjects so that you are able to focus on the core business. They also joined local associations, to broaden their network.

The final speaker Daryl Maduke – Partner International Tax, BDO, informed us about all the Canadian Tax regulations. It is possible for Dutch companies (and other foreign companies) to do business in Canada without setting up a subsidiary. There are no tac consolidations in Canada.

Do you want to know more about doing business in Vancouver? Then take a look at the webinar or contact us.

World Trade Center Leeuwarden supports companies with international ambitions and helps to professionalize export and import by offering knowledge and opening new markets by connecting with potential business partners through its global network.


  • Introduction by Mr. Evert Jan Schouwstra – WTC Leeuwarden
  • Introduction by Mr. Austin NairnExecutive-Director, WTC Vancouver
  • Business opportunities by Mr. Rupert PotterTrade & Investment Representative – Europe British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery & Innovation
  • Cultural Considerations: Highlights in Both Regions by Mr. Rene BorghoutsDeputy Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • The Greater Vancouver Region: Main Trends by Mr. John McPhersonSector Development Manager, Cleantech, Vancouver Economic Commission
  • Current B.C. Trade with the Netherlands by Mr. Paul Kleijne – Trade & Investment Representative British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery & Innovation
  • Best Practices in B.C.-Netherlands Trade by Mr. Remy SmitCo-Founder, Strada Networks
  • Q&A
  • Tax Considerations when Expanding to B.C. by Mr. Daryl MadukePartner

Webinar and presentations

Download presentation(s) & recording webinar | VANCOUVER, CANADA

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