Today, we released our 2017 Crystal Ball Report, our annual forecast of what lies ahead for Canadian business. Throughout the last year, we hosted a series of thought leadership roundtables with Canadian business in order to talk about the big issues, from the backlash against trade to energy and commodity prices, to the digital economy and the risks Canada will have to contend with in 2017 and beyond.
Businesses in all sectors told us they are surprised by the growing anti-trade sentiment worldwide and are concerned about a retreat from globalization in the years ahead. The consensus was that the rise of anti-trade, anti-immigration political parties is a global phenomenon and could be an important risk factor for Canada.
That means the year ahead will represent a time of economic uncertainty for Canadian business—a direct result of these global trends and, more specifically, the ambiguity surrounding the Canada-U.S. trade relation, the renegotiation of NAFTA and the future of other trade agreements.
On a positive note, natural resources are poised to rebound, giving the Canadian economy an opportunity at leading the pack on growth. Another advantage is that Canada is in a unique position as it remains focused on trade and open to the world. We can capitalize on these strengths to influence trends and show other countries that globalization can unite economic and social objectives.