Strategy looks to foreign investment

A new research project is going to give foreign investors a better understanding of doing business in Penticton and vice-versa.

A new research project is going to give foreign investors a better understanding of doing business in Penticton and vice-versa.

“With the change in how business is done, we have to go outside our regional market and our manufacturing business here in the city to understand that,” said David Arsenault, Penticton Economic Development officer. “They are now selling products globally, 10 years ago it would have been U.S. and regionally.”

Consulting has been conducted with the local business community, Okanagan College, elected officials and various user groups. From that, and other analysis, the final research will identify such things as what Penticton has to offer and what areas are investment ready.

Penticton Economic Development Services, in partnership with Invest Canada-Community Initiatives, is working the final aspects of completing the foreign direct investment strategy. Research was started in July and is expected to be complete by the end of this month and be available to the public.

“The objective of this research is really to support local businesses and foster economic growth, diversification and job creation within the City of Penticton. So the information gathered from the research and interviews will help to identify how and who we are as a community from a business perspective with an end goal of developing Penticton’s value proposition versus its competition,” said Arsenault.

“It will give us a well thought out plan to support investment and opportunities for the local business community.”

Arsenault said Penticton is leading the way in the Okanagan Valley to complete such a strategy, as the first community to do so. Another application is being put in to complete a valley-wide strategy with the Okanagan Valley Economic Development Society.

Lochaven Management consultant Wayne Robert said the Penticton economic development is taking the right steps. He said the foreign direct investment strategy is a way to continually consult with the business community in order to determine what is needed to support business.

“Doing the due diligence up front is vital towards creating a strategy geared toward making the right investment decisions for the future of business in the region,” said Robert. “Understanding what Penticton has to offer and aligning those strengths strategically with the markets and opportunities is the best way to determine direction in developing investment opportunities.”

Arsenault sees the long-term results of the project helping to increase new investment into the community, generate a community asset profile and provide for more comprehensive and effective site-selector information. An application is in place to potentially receive more funding from Invest Canada-Community Initiatives next year. Arsenault said the funding is vital, as it will help towards the costs of implementation of the marketing plan and developing the required tools to become as investment ready and attractive as possible.

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