Canadian Chamber of Commmerce unveils top 10 barriers to competitiveness in 2014
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has revealed the findings of an initiative that has been two years in the making.
“The Foundations of a Competitive Canada: The Need for Strategic Infrastructure Investment” report draws attention to what the chamber believes are Canada’s top ten barriers to competitiveness in 2014.
It calls on its own membership, governments, educators, labour organizations and others to tackle and overcome these obstacles to sharpen Canada’s competitive edge and allow the country to prosper in the global economy.
According to the CCC, the 2014 top 10 barriers to competitiveness are:
1. Skills shortages: The demographic shift in the Canadian labour market between retirements and the growing skills gap needs to be address in four areas: upskilling, education and employment connections, immigration and Aboriginal workforce development.
2. Uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies: Canada’s travel and tourism sector has slipped from seventh largest in the world to 18th. Government should invest in national marketing initiatives and address Canada’s visa system, the high cost of air travel in Canada and its layers of regulations, fees and taxes.
3. Inadequate plans for addressing deficiencies in public infrastructure: Bringing infrastructure in Canada back to the level needed to support prosperity will require an ongoing commitment by all levels of government and private sector stakeholders.
4. Barriers to success in global markets: Policy, regulatory barriers and operating challenges in foreign markets are affecting Canadian businesses’ ability to become a global business as quickly as their OECD peers.
5. Internal barriers to trade: The federal government should promote sanctions against jurisdictions that practice protectionism against other Canadians, while supporting those that embrace free internal trade.
6. A complex and costly tax system: Canada should review its tax system in order to reduce its complexity and improve the way it raises tax revenue.
7. Lack of clear sustainability policies: Canada should establish a credible climate policy, clarify businesses’ duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples, and aggressively contest unfounded allegations about its environmental stewardship.
8. The severe shortage of economic development tools for businesses in Canada’s territories: The federal government has to decide whether or not to provide them with tools to become more financially independent in the belief that doing so will unleash their ability to help the entire country be more competitive.
9. Inconsistent regulatory policies between Canada and the U.S.: Inconsistencies between regulatory standards in Canada and the U.S. cost unnecessary time and money as minor differences result in additional verification, inspection or testing of goods once they cross the border.
10. Insufficient support for innovation in Canadian manufacturing: Manufacturing, the largest sector of the Canadian economy, has not yet fully recovered from the 2008 recession and remains significantly reduced from its pre-recession size.
For more information visit www.chamber.ca