By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Mayor Gregor RobertsonA new report shows that the Metro Vancouver Commerce 2010 Olympic Business Programme brought a total of $306 million (£192 million) in new investment and created 2,558 new jobs in the area, the city's Mayor Gregor Robertson has revealed.

Nine Metro Vancouver municipalities, including the city itself, partnered with the Canadian Government on Metro Vancouver Commerce, an Olympic business programme that saw 64 international firms travel to Vancouver last February to reach agreements for new jobs and investment in the region.

"Our priority going into the Olympics was ensuring we secured long-term benefits for our City, and it's clear that our Olympic business programme did just that," said Robertson.

"With a strategic, targeted approach for attracting new jobs and investment to the region, we succeeded in leveraging the Olympic spotlight to put our economy on the map.

"The result is that one year after the Games, Vancouver is still reaping the economic benefits of our business programme."

The study, conducted independently by global consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows that one year after the Games, the programme also created $168.8 million (£106.1 million) in direct investment, with $146.4 million (£92.03 million) in one-time capital investments and special projects, including films and $156.2 million (£98.1 million) in GDP, and $25.4 million (£15.9 million) in Provincial and Federal tax revenue;

It also created nine business deals for the City of Vancouver worth an estimated $85 million (£53 million), creating 400 jobs and $22.4 million (£14.1 million) in continuous annual impacts.

The total cost of the programme was $1.5 million (£942,000), resulting in a return on investment of 20,399 per cent, the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey claimed.

"Vancouver is poised to have one of the strongest economies in Canada this year and our success on capitalising on the Olympics is a big reason why," said Robertson.

Metro Vancouver Commerce used the international exposure of the Olympic Games as a platform to brand Metro Vancouver as a globally compelling location for business and investment, Robertson said.

The original target for investment was $50 million (£31 million) by the end of 2011 but already, the programme has reached exceeded that by more than three times in direct investment from 64 companies in five different industries, green enterprise, digital media, financial and business services, aerospace and biotechnology.