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Trade, Productivity & Competitiveness

BC’s ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world economy will depend on how well we can find new ways of doing business, adopt new ideas and practices, and connect with new trading partners. The Council encourages public policies that support research and innovation, business practices that increase productivity, connections that open new trading opportunities, and processes to commercialize BC’s best research.

Finlayson Op-Ed: 'Clean growth' is a nice idea, but policymakers shouldn't forget what really makes B.C. money (The Province)

Policymakers in Victoria have a lot more work to do if they are interested in strengthening the province’s export economy.

The provincial NDP government has pledged to develop a “clean growth strategy” to position the province for continued prosperity in a world where demand is increasing for products and technologies that reduce the impact of human activity on the environment. With a carbon-free electricity system and an array of local companies in the “clean tech” space, B.C. has some of the ingredients necessary for clean growth. But amid their enthusiasm for developing new industries, policymakers also need to pay close attention to the industries that pay the bills today.

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Canadian, US business leaders announce joint framework for cross-border growth

Today, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor announced the formation of a binational steering committee composed of the region’s top business, research and community leaders. The Committee marks a step forward in growing the Cascadia Innovation Corridor into a cohesive, globally recognized hub of innovation and commerce.

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Statement from BCBC regarding Federal Court of Appeal Ruling

The Business Council of British Columbia has released the following statement from President and Chief Executive Officer, Greg D’Avignon regarding this week’s ruling by the Federal Court of Appeal

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Growing Tax Burden Hurts B.C. Business Competitiveness (Business in Vancouver)

In many sectors of our economy, the cost of operating a business has risen significantly over the past several years due to provincial government policy decisions. For a typical business, the most visible government-driven cost increases have come via higher (and in some cases new) taxes and fees. Below we briefly discuss the most salient examples.

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Finlayson Op-Ed: Time for a reality check about Canada’s exports (Troy Media & Black Press)

Industrial transitions don’t happen overnight. Nor do politicians generally have a decisive role in that evolution.

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Finlayson & St-Laurent Op-Ed: Jobs and careers in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ (Troy Media)

The work world is being transformed by rapidly evolving digital technologies as we march into what many are calling the “fourth industrial revolution.”

With disruptive technologies pushing the frontiers of automation, some of the comparative advantages humans traditionally have enjoyed relative to technology are eroding. Computers and learning-based algorithms have progressed beyond replacing repetitive, manual tasks with mechanical execution.

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Williams Op-Ed: Will The Kids Be Alright? It’s Up To Us. (Vancouver Sun)

Will the kids be alright? Will they prosper? These are questions all parents ponder. For a child born today, their standard of living during adulthood will hinge upon the success of their parents’ generation in raising per capita gross domestic product (GDP per person). Small shifts in the trend growth rate in GDP per person lead to substantial differences in living standards over the course of a generation.

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RELEASE: Professional Reliance Review Report Provides Solutions Looking for a Problem

The Business Council of British Columbia has significant concerns with the recently released Professional Reliance Review Report which has offered a series of recommendations related to the province’s professional reliance model.

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Will the Kids Be Alright? The Arithmetic of Productivity Trends in Canada and B.C.

How can Canada and British Columbia improve productivity?

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Women and Work: An analysis of the changing B.C. labour market

An analysis of the progress made advancing women in the workforce and areas where there is more to do to enable the full participation of women, particularly in light of shifting demographics and labour markets.

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Release: BCBC Statement Following May 24 Court Decision on TMX

Greg D'Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia issued the following statement following today's BC Supreme Court rulings related to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project:
"Certainty of process is fundamental in any democracy. The Business Council continues to urge the federal and provincial governments to adhere to and support all regulatory processes they have established."

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The Changing Face of Asset Ownership in China

China’s economic development continues to have profound implications for the world economy and, as Canada’s gateway to Asia, for British Columbia.

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The Rise of China's Top-10%

A by-product of China’s rapid economic rise is that income and wealth have become increasingly concentrated among the top-10% of the population.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Alarms ringing over B.C.’s lacklustre productivity performance (Business in Vancouver)

Productivity is the most critical determinant of any economy’s long-term growth potential. It represents the value of goods and services produced, divided by the number of hours needed to produce them.

Productivity increases when businesses invest in new machinery, equipment, technologies and structures, and when workers become better educated and acquire in-demand technical skills. Productivity gains are also realized when additional output is created by doing a better job of combining inputs through the application of fresh ideas, advanced technologies and improved business models. In more productive economies, employees typically receive higher compensation, and governments can obtain the resources needed to provide good public services without having to resort to ruinous levels of taxation.

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RELEASE: Sue Paish, Q.C. incoming Chair of BCBC

Recognized British Columbia business leader in health, technology and law, Sue Paish Q.C., was elected for a two-year term as Chair of the Business Council of British Columbia on May 1 at the organization’s 52nd Annual General Meeting.

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B.C.'s Manufacturing Sector is Growing...But Faces Competitiveness Challenges

Manufacturing is a growth story for the B.C. economy over the last 10 years and is punching above its weight in terms of our export portfolio, generating new income for the provincial economy. The latest Policy Perspectives, details economic facts, figures and trends, as well as sectoral breakdowns and cross provincial comparisons, relevant to BC’s $50 billion resource and non-resource manufacturing activities. It also provides some cautionary advice relative to key competitive headwinds facing this element of our economy - which makes up 7% of provincial GDP and over 170,000 jobs.

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BCBC on Premier Horgan's "Crisis of Confidence"

"This is no longer about a pipeline project or whether one supports or opposes the legal movement of energy in Canada....this is a referendum on whether British Columbia is open to investment and whether a legal enterprise can, with any confidence, invest, build and operate a business within the province and the country."

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PRESENTATION: Economic Update @ COFI by Jock Finlayson

BCBC Chief Policy Officer and Executive Vice President, Jock Finlayson presented on April 5th to the Annual Council of Forest Industries (COFI) convention in Prince George. He discussed the contribution of the B.C. forest industry to the national and provincial economies, as well as competitiveness challenges facing Canada's natural resource sectors and businesses across our diverse economy.

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Op-Ed: Trade deal good for B.C. and province's forestry industry (Vancouver Sun)

For over 250 years, British Columbia’s entrepreneurs, skilled workers and communities have contributed to a growing and successful forestry industry. B.C.’s renewable timberland resource has generated economic wealth and improved our collective prosperity for generations, while setting the global benchmark for sustainable forestry practices. Only one per cent of B.C. forest land is harvested annually, with three trees planted for each one that is harvested. Today, the sector is also playing a significant role in reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

We often associate forestry with B.C.’s rural communities, supporting jobs, local businesses, and community facilities. That is entirely true, but it is also one of B.C.’s largest urban employers. People in the Lower Mainland pursue forestry-related careers within an array of small and large businesses working in professional services, transportation, equipment manufacturing and technology among others. Rural and urban, B.C. forestry is a vital contributor to our prosperity.

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RELEASE: BCBC welcomes important step in advancing LNG in B.C.

The Business Council of British Columbia today welcomes news of a Fiscal Framework Agreement between the Province of B.C. and LNG Canada. The completion of this agreement signals an important step towards the realization of a major LNG project in the province and the largest infrastructure project in Canada’s history – a project that promises to generate lasting economic benefits for all British Columbians.

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