The Amazon HQ2 Project has concluded. Please refer here for an update.
VEC Statement on Amazon HQ2 Project
September 21, 2017
As the City of Vancouver agency responsible for economic development, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) is mandated to pursue strategic opportunities to continue Vancouver’s nation-leading economic growth. Amazon’s HQ2 bid has been referred to as being possibly ‘the biggest economic development event in a generation.’ The successful city stands to gain up to $5 billion USD in direct capital investment and the creation of 50,000 jobs over the course of the 15-17 years it would take to see the project through to the completion of Phase III. This does not count the unknown amount of indirect spend during these years, and the subsequent economic activity resulting from what Amazon terms “organic growth” and community reinvestment.
While these direct economic benefits certainly interest us, what this proposal immediately represents for the VEC and its partner organizations is the opportunity to galvanize stakeholders throughout the Lower Mainland with a common purpose – to identify, assess, and present the attributes we possess that are attractive to any global enterprise. Applicant cities must comprehensively demonstrate fit with Amazon’s Key Decision Drivers: location and logistics; a robust talent and labour pool; financial incentives; and overall cultural fit and sense of community. In these, we know that Vancouver is positioned very favourably.
The necessary conversations around regional planning, housing starts and infrastructure development are already taking place. Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy projects a population increase of one million by 2040. This growth must be considered alongside the creation of 50,000 well-paying head office jobs between today and 2035 – or later, depending on when Phase I Building begins.
The key challenge we face is our collective ability to put forth a compelling, comprehensive proposal without compromising our values as citizens of one of the world’s most livable cities. We are still at an extremely early stage in the process. We have met with a cross-regional group of key stakeholders and experts to not only review how we shape our response to the RFP, but also to clearly understand and address the potential growing pains and disruption that can be expected through such a project.
This short, four-week process of responding to the exciting and unprecedented Amazon RFP will create a template for all of us in the region to build upon for future investment attraction opportunities.
Ingrid Valou, Communications Specialist
604.868.1990 / firstname.lastname@example.org