Vancouver’s bid to become an international maritime centre stumbles

Created four years ago to much fanfare and a huge marketing blitz, the project to turn Vancouver into a major maritime hub is now on its last legs as changes in local and federal governments have seen state funding switched off for the ambitious project.

Launched in April 2015, with an initial three-year state funding mandate, Vancouver International Maritime Centre (VIMC) was a lavish attempt to turn the British Columbia city into a global shipping hub, determined to get shipping lines, banks, insurers and more to set up shop in the Canadian city.

The VIMC brand flew high – parties were held at major shipping cities around the world, hundreds of thousands of dollars was spent on advertising – but changes in both the federal and provincial governments saw the funding taps closed at the end of the the first three-year period, some 14 months ago.

“We are still operating but with minimal budget and now we patiently wait for the federal election in October hoping that there will be another change,” a VIMC spokesperson told Splash today, adding: “The project surpassed all targets, under budget and on time.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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