December 2, 2015 9:54 am
Updated: December 3, 2015 1:03 am

Syrian refugees to boost B.C. economy by half a billion dollars: report

WATCH: There is new financial and economic information on the wave of Syrian refugees that are expected to come to Canada. John Hua reports.

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A new report shows that Syrian refugees are expected to boost the economy of British Columbia by more than half a billion dollars.

A Vancity report says the refugees expected to arrive in B.C. between now and the end of February are expected to generate $563 million in local economic activity over the next 20 years.

The credit unit found that immigrants tend to strengthen the economy in their new communities because they often purchase goods and services within their local community networks.

The report also points to immigrants being highly entrepreneurial as they are 30 per cent more likely to start a business than non-immigrants.

WATCH: According to a new report released by Vancity, Credit Union, refugees strengthen the economy of their new communities. Linda Morris, Vancity senior VP, joins Global News to explains the findings of their report.

Refugees also report higher rates of self-employment than both other immigrants and people born in Canada, according to Vancity.

“When they come here, they really look to integrate and contribute back to the place that brought them here,” says Vancity Senior VP Linda Morris.

“We find that a large majority of them want to set up their own small business and be entrepreneurs, and as we know in B.C., small business is a huge contributor to our local economy,” she adds.

Since the outbreak of the war in Syria in 2011, the UN estimates some 4.2 million people have been displaced, resulting in a global refugee crisis.

25,000 Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in Canada by February of next year at an estimated cost of $678 million over the next six years.

B.C. will be receiving 400 Syrian refugees by the end of the 2015 and a further 1,500 by the end of next February.

 

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