Christopher Theeparajah, account manager of trade finance for the Vancouver Island Region for Export Development Canada , speaks at the 3rd annual Five Chamber Mixer hosted by the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce last Thursday, as president Andi Hook listens. Export Development Canada will open an office in the Greater Victoria area because of its economic growth. Theeparajah serves on board the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. (Janis Jean Photography/Submitted)

Diverse economy draws federal government branch to Greater Victoria

Export Development Canada’s Christopher Theeparajah lauds local economy

Ottawa and the timing of a real estate sale in Vancouver will determine where and when a federal office designed to help local exporters will open in Greater Victoria.

Christopher Theeparajah, account manager of trade finance for the Vancouver Island region of Export Development Canada (EDC), said it will be up to the federal government to decide where it will eventually open its Vancouver Island office.

EDC describes itself as “a financially self-sustaining” Crown corporation that serves as an export credit agency, providing various types of financial services to Canadian exporters, investors and their international buyers. The company also supports direct Canadian investment abroad and foreign investment into Canada.

Theeparajah said several communities have expressed an interest in hosting that office.

“At the end of the day, we are non-committal,” Theeparajah said. “The first step is getting myself out there, and once I have had the opportunity to react to the business climate, [setting up a permanent office] is something on the radar in the next year or so after I am out there.”

RELATED: Regional mixer reveals more about new federal export office coming to Greater Victoria

With no firm date, Theeparajah will work out of his future home in the area. But Theeparajah has not yet moved to Vancouver Island as his arrival depends on the sale of his house on the Lower Mainland.

EDC sees Vancouver Island as a growth region.

“I have managed the Vancouver Island region from the Lower Mainland for the last five years … and over the course of the last two years specifically, I have seen a dramatic increase to the amount of economic activity I am seeing from Victoria all the way up to the Port Hardy,” he said.

This development, coupled with Vancouver Island’s designation as a foreign trade zone by the federal government last September, prompted EDC to dedicate a specific office for Vancouver Island.

The designation as a foreign trade zone grants financial incentives for foreigners investing on the Island, but also for Canadian companies operating here.

Theeparajah said the Island offers several advantages including its Pacific Rim location and Victoria’s technology sector, which he says is “growing exponentially.” The Saanich Peninsula continues to build on its manufacturing sector, while locations beyond southern Vancouver Island have flourishing aqua-culture.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read