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Ryan Uy

Forty under 40 winner 2019; Director of finance and administration, DP World (Canada) Inc., Age 39
Photo: Chung Chow

As cargo ports on Canada’s West Coast gain prominence, Ryan Uy is on the front lines and overseeing the industry as it alters the country’s economic landscape.

Uy, a Vancouver native, is now the director of finance and administration for DP World (Canada) Inc., which counts Vancouver’s Centerm and Prince Rupert among its flagship container-port facilities. In the last four years, DP World’s Canadian market share grew to 50% from 14%, a trend that is set to continue with the purchase this May of Fraser Surrey Docks.

The chartered accountant is aware how these developments play an increasing role in shaping Canada and North America’s economy as trade with Asia intensifies.

“We have a tremendous responsibility to be the facilitator of trade,” Uy said. “This responsibility is not taken lightly. The decisions we make are not just for the people in Vancouver or British Columbia, but it is for all of Canada and the United States, as well.

“Over two-thirds of all cargo coming into Canada is coming from the East-to-West trade,” he added. “We are at the forefront of that; our two flagship container terminals are both in Canada and both located on the West Coast.… Vancouver [Centerm] and Prince Rupert are slightly different, but they’re both servicing important needs of the country.”

Uy himself is humbled by the company’s success. He described his professional career as “restarting” after he and his family returned to Vancouver after a four-year stint in Singapore.

“That was probably one of the toughest professional decisions I’ve had to make,” Uy said. “You’ve established your network of professional contacts, and now you have to come back and restart your career. But what you bring with you is a wealth of knowledge and experiences. So although you are restarting, the experience sets you up quite well.”

Since he landed his role with DP World by the experience he gained abroad, Uy said his advice to the next generation of Vancouver young professionals is simple: Go abroad.

“Don’t be afraid to leave Vancouver, even if Vancouver is your final destination,” he said.

Birthplace: Vancouver

Where you live now: Richmond

Highest level of education: Bachelor of commerce – double major in finance and accounting and chartered accountant designation

Currently reading: Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur

Currently listening to: “My Worth Is Not in What I Own” by Keith and Kristyn Getty (featuring Fernando Ortega)

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Professional athlete

Profession you would most like to try: Surgeon

Toughest business or professional decision: To leave Singapore and restart my career in Vancouver nine years ago

Advice you would give the younger you: Exercise regularly, eat more vegetables and go to bed earlier

What’s left to do: Wait and see, I’ve only just begun

“Don’t be afraid to leave Vancouver, even if Vancouver is your final destination”

Join us to celebrate the 2019 Forty under 40 Awards on January 30, 2020, at the Westin Bayshore. For tickets and event information visit