December 2019 - January 2020 Best Cities for Work in B.C.

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

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BCBUSINESS.CA DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 49 WHAT DO THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HOLD FOR B.C.'S ECONOMIC HEALTH, BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND INVESTMENT CLIMATE? WITH HELP FROM AN EXPERT PANEL, WE EXPLORE THE FORCES, EVENTS AND THEMES THAT WILL SHAPE THE YEAR AHEAD b y N I C K R O C K E L 10 views J O C K F I N L AY S O N Executive vice-president and chief policy officer, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF BRITISH COLUMBIA I G L I K A I VA N O VA Senior economist and public interest researcher, CANADIAN CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES VA L L I T W I N President and CEO, BC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE on 2020 First, a couple of disclaimers. The discussion took place in early October, before the recent federal election. And by the time you read this story, there's always the chance that its take on 2020 has been overshadowed by major events, from a U.S. recession to some other crisis that dramatically changes B.C.'s economic for- tunes. Whatever happens, the panellists gave us plenty to think about. Here are 10 key takeaways. The big picture: mixed Like many observers, Bryan Yu is keeping a close eye on the world's biggest power struggle. "Our outlook is largely contingent upon what's happening with the U.S. and China and their trade relation- ship deteriorating, and global trade," he says of Central 1. "What we're really watching right now is how poorly that can go." Central 1 has tracked a slide in B.C. manufacturing activity that it expects to keep hindering the provincial economy, hitting exports in particular. The main weakness is the slumping forestry sector, whose manufacturing sales and product shipments were down 20 and 35 percent, respectively, year-over-year through August. "We don't see a lot of growth occurring overall with exports in the next year, especially on the commodities front," Yu says. Forestry is struggling, tech is booming, and companies of all sizes can't find enough good people. As B.C. rings in the new year, those are just a few of the factors that will affect businesses across the province during an uncertain time for the global econ- omy. For some insight into what 2020 could bring, we sat down for lunch with a panel of six experts: E R I C A M C G U I N N E S S Vice-president, SEQUEIRA PARTNERS P E T E M O L E N A A R Senior vice-president and head of commercial banking, Western region, HSBC BANK CANADA B R YA N Y U Deputy chief economist, CENTRAL 1 CREDIT UNION p o r t r a i t s b y R O B E R T K E N N E Y s h o t o n l o c a t i o n a t T H E V A N C O U V E R C L U B

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