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“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 growth and build a more prosperous economy for all Canadians,” said the Hon. 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 SMEs, providing opportunities for business development among Indigenous peoples, encouraging innovation and fixing Canada’s trade-enabling infrastructure.
“The Bay of Quinte riding already has one of the largest food processing clusters in the province and making Canada an Agri-food powerhouse is something we strongly support,” said Suzanne Andrews, General Manager at the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce. “If we can make progress on these 10 recommendations then businesses of all sizes and all sectors in the region would feel the benefits to their operations.”
“Canada is teetering in its position as an advanced economy, what seemed progressive is quickly becoming old news,” said Emily Cowan, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce. “We have so much potential to lead from the front, if businesses can get on with what they’re good at. With less regulation and more support, businesses across Canada are poised to put us back on the map as an innovative, modern, labour-friendly country the world wants to do business with.”
“This report is a great example of how the needs of business are presented at the national level. As your local Chamber of Commerce, we want to make sure our members know what is taking place on that national stage. Representing your voice locally, we will connect with our local MPs to identify and support initiatives that support local growth.” notes Jill Raycroft, CEO of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
In the Bay of Quinte region some of the local economic priorities include develop of the local labour market, as 88% of the regions businesses say that the ability to retain and recruit trained staff is vital to their competitiveness. With the low unemployment rate in the region and the lack of affordable rental housing this has become an issue. Over regulation is also a big concern for area businesses, which for some includes barriers to trade and access to markets. Getting goods and services produced in the Quinte region across Canada and around the world needs to be a priority for regulators and infrastructure investments are required to support this.
This annual list by the chamber network 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. 10 Ways 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, supported by the Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce.
10 Ways to Build a Canada that Wins in 2018
1. Make Canada a Magnet for Business Investment
We need a policy environment in Canada that makes this country the preferred location for businesses to invest, employ, export from and grow.
2. Ensure a Globally Competitive North America
The growth potential of Canadian business depends not only rely on our domestic policy environment, but also on our access to business opportunities and capabilities across North America and around the world. We need to expand and streamline business access to resources as we eliminate barriers to trade.
3. Make Canada an Agri-food Powerhouse
Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector has a strong and well-earned reputation. In order to make Canada a global leader in high-value food production and exports, we need a national vision and clear objectives for an agri-food cluster development strategy, a supportive regulatory environment and an increased capacity to export.
4. Develop Agile Workforce Strategies
Agile workforce policies are vital in ensuring Canadian businesses can acquire the skill sets they need to compete and grow. To this end, Canadian businesses need easy access to comprehensive market information and to programs and policies that support diversity and labour mobility. Our workforce must also have access to formative and life-long learning opportunities in essential skills and basic science, technical, engineering and business education. Only then can we attract the best and brightest from all over the world.
5. Make all of Canada an Export Gateway
Trade is the linchpin of the Canadian economy. We can enhance the competitiveness and growth potential of Canadian businesses by building on the gateways and corridors modeled to make strategic, sustainable and long-term improvements in Canada’s trade infrastructure. It is time for us to create a single, unified and efficient trade-enabling network.
6.Improve Regulatory Efficiency, Achieve Regulatory Alignment, and Ensure the Unrestricted Movement of Goods and People across Canada
The elimination of trade barriers and unnecessary regulatory differences across Canada could add as much as $130 billion to Canada’s GDP by freeing trade and commerce within our own internal markets. Through incentives for regulators, we can concentrate on the big picture: nationally aligned standards and regulations that work for all, instead of a patchwork of regional rules.
7. Help SMEs Trade and Grow
Canada’s economic prospects depend in large part on the vitality and growth potential of small- and medium-sized enterprises. We can support our SMEs through tax policies that reward entrepreneurship, regulatory policies that take their reality into account and by giving them easier access to government contracts and international opportunities.
8.Provide Opportunities for Business Development to Support Self-determination for Indigenous Peoples
The economic and social benefits of encouraging greater and more inclusive participation by Indigenous peoples in employment and business development opportunities are shared by all Canadians. This includes 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.
9. Make Canada a Global Innovator
Canada can retain its status as an advanced economy only if its businesses are world leaders in the development and application of new and advanced technologies. Canadian businesses need to be connected to the broadband infrastructure, research expertise and technology resources they require. Intellectual property and other regulatory regimes also have to be supportive and allow for easier R&D, development and, ultimately, commercialization.
10. Make Canada the World’s One-stop Shop for Green Resources and Technology
The application of new technologies and production processes is vital if Canada is to meet its goals for reducing carbon emissions and improving the quality of its environment while at the same time sustaining economic growth. This requires support for resource-based technology business clusters and the incentives and support programs Canadian technology companies need to be able to do business with global resource companies and engineering and procurement firms.
Read or Download the Full Report Here
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom