CANADA – A strong and prosperous Canada depends on business growth, but businesses are grappling with daunting challenges at home and abroad. To help them compete and grow, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has released 10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins.
The document provides businesses, decision-makers and government with a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity, and grow our economy.
“While the global economy remains risky, there are still tremendous opportunities for business growth, but we need to work together to create the conditions to support business development and build a more prosperous economy for all Canadians,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“10 Ways identifies the ways in which business, government and others can work together to improve Canada’s public policy environment and create the conditions for businesses across the country to flourish.”
10 Ways touches on a range of key issues, including attracting business investment, supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), providing opportunities for business development among Indigenous peoples, encouraging innovation, and fixing Canada’s trade-enabling infrastructure.
“Each of the topics on this list is important, but they all boil down to one single question: how can we—business, government and decision-makers—create the conditions for Canadian businesses to be more competitive and equip them to take advantage of the new opportunities opening up around the world?” says Beatty.
This annual list by the Canadian Chamber is particularly important given the growing pressures on businesses faced with uncertainty around the ongoing NAFTA negotiations, additional layers of regulation, rapid technological change and low capital investment.
This document not only frames the necessary public discourse around the best ways to enable Canadian businesses to grow, it provides the Canadian Chamber of Commerce with the strategic direction for its policy and advocacy efforts throughout 2018.
Summarized, the Chamber recommendations are:
- Make Canada a magnet for business investment, with a business-friendly policy environment;
- Ensure North America is globally competitive and eliminate trade barriers;
- Make Canada an agri-food powerhouse by building on the strong and well-earned reputation of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector;
- Develop agile workforce strategies to ensure Canadian businesses can acquire the expertise to be competitive. Canada’s workforce needs access to formative and life-long learning opportunities in essential skills and basic science, technical, engineering, and business education.
- Make all of Canada an export gateway by making strategic, sustainable and long-term improvements in Canada’s trade infrastructure, gateways and corridors.
- Improve regulatory efficiency, achieve regulatory alignment, and ensure the unrestricted movement of goods and people across Canada.
- Help smaller businesses trade and grow since Canada’s economic prospects depend in large part on the vitality and growth potential of these small and medium-sized enterprises. Tax policies that reward entrepreneurship, regulatory policies that take their reality into account and easier access to government contracts and international opportunities will all help this sector flourish.
- Provide opportunities for business development to support self-determination for indigenous peoples, including a supportive tax and regulatory environment, access to new business opportunities, government programs that provide meaningful supports, and ready-access to education and training, leading to employment, apprenticeship and mentorship programs.
- Make Canada a global innovator by ensuring its businesses can be world leaders in the development and application of new and advanced technologies. Supports include broadband infrastructure, research expertise, and technology resources. Intellectual property and other regulatory regimes also have to be supportive and allow for easier research and development, development and, ultimately, commercialization.
- Make Canada the World’s one-stop shop for green resources and technology, in part by supporting resource-based technology business clusters and applying incentives and support programs so Canadian technology companies can do business with global resource companies and engineering and procurement firms.