“The opportunities are huge, and there’s a lot of real interest,” he explains, “so I was very keen, as early and as often as I can, to try and get out and travel and actually see what’s happening so I can understand it a bit better.”
While there is already significant interest in northern B.C. from British Companies like Royal Dutch Shell, Potter maintains it’s important to take note of possible expansion in our region. Although it’s ultimately up to the companies to make decisions, Potter wants to make sure they’re not missing out on opportunities.
“What I would like to try and push across more is the potential growth that’s happening, as well as what is already established here,” he says. “It’s difficult to judge how much that’s known in the U.K., but I think the more knowledge we can feed in, the better.”
While foreign investment is clearly beneficial for British Columbians, Potter also argues that it’s a two-way street, and that companies here can also learn from the expertise British companies have. He says their knowledge ranges from mining, to natural gas and forestry, and could help with financing, project management, and advanced engineering.
“They can bring their expertise to partner alongside companies that know the local environment, and obviously it helps them to grow,” he maintains. “What we do to help B.C. companies invest in the U.K., it’s just the same in reverse. I think when you’ve got a good partnership, it really benefits both sides as well.”
He also urges companies, in this time of economic growth, to remember the well-established relationships they already have with the U.K. as well.
Potter visited with Mayor Lori Ackerman, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, Treaty 8 and Shell yesterday, as well as attended the Natural Gas Road Show put on by Spectra and Fortis B.C. at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Today he is meeting with the Oil and Gas Commission and taking a tour of a wellsite.