September 15, 2007 12:00 ET

Canadian Chamber: Act Now to Boost Canada's Competitiveness

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2007) - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is calling on all levels of government to address increasing global competition from economies like China, India and Europe. Some 400 delegates from all areas of Canada are meeting in Markham at the Canadian Chamber's annual meeting to set the Chamber's policy agenda for the year ahead.

"In the global economy, you lead or you lose. Changes in technology and the explosion in emerging markets like India and China mean the pace will never again be slow, competition will only get fiercer, and complacency will spell disaster," said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, at the conclusion of a Canadian Chamber board meeting earlier today.

"Canada must act now to address skills shortages, build a competitive tax and regulatory system, and boost our productivity. We need to work together so all Canadians can look ahead to a bright economic future. In this new age of doing business - an era of both opportunity and challenge - Canadian businesses can drive change and be global leaders," added Mr. Beatty.

It is clear that Canadians need to think on a bigger scale and to be more ambitious. Making incremental improvements no longer works in a world economy that advances by leaps and bounds.

"Both government and business have a role to play. Canadian businesses need to develop ambitions beyond the domestic, or even North American, market," said John Peller, incoming chair of the board and CEO of Andrew Peller Ltd. "Canadian businesses have all of the attributes to thrive in the global economy. We must provide them with the tools and regulatory environment to succeed."

In the coming session and Speech from the Throne, the government must focus on framework policies that can help Canadian companies become global champions, said Mr. Beatty. An effective policy framework would include competitive tax levels (Canada's marginal effective tax rate on capital is the sixth highest in the world), better transportation infrastructure (such as the Asia-Pacific Gateway Initiative), policies that promote R&D and innovation, as well as aggressively opening up foreign markets.

"The issues Canadian businesses face are urgent," said Mr. Beatty. "How Ottawa responds will affect the living standard of every Canadian family."

Contact Information

  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce
    Katie Anderson
    Director, Communications
    Cell: 613-797-1860