Mayor Gregor Robertson encourages Amazon to set up new North American headquarters in Vancouver

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      A competition is underway to convince one of the world's wealthiest businessmen to invest billions in their city.

      Amazon has announced that it's looking for a location for its new $5-billion North American headquarters, which will complement the company's Seattle campus.

      The founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, briefly surpassed Bill Gates this summer as the world's richest man.

      The Amazon announcement prompted Mayor Gregor Robertson to express Vancouver's interest in luring the tech giant to expand its local operation.

      The mayor's tweet prompted sustainable-transportation activist Richard Campbell to suggest a large Amazon investment would "be another good reason to build high speed rail from Vancouver to Seattle plus massively expand transit and rail in the region".

      The Vancouver Economic Commission has also indicated its interest in attracting Amazon's new North American headquarters, which could employ up to 50,000 people.

      Amazon is the world's most valuable ecommerce company with a market value of US$468 billion.