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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.

PRESENTATION: Post #Budget2019 presentation from Jock Finlayson

On March 19, 2010, Jock Finlayson, Chief Policy Officer at the Business Council of British Columbia shared his assessment of the 2019 Federal Budget.

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Release: Opportunities for all Canadians depend on sustained economic growth

While the Business Council of British Columbia applauds Minister Morneau and the federal government for a number of new initiatives announced in today’s budget, Canada continues to face fundamental challenges to its prosperity and competitiveness that require greater attention.

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Peterson & Finlayson Op-Ed: Innovation leading to productivity can dramatically improve our standard of living (The Province)

Worker wages depend in large part on the levels of productivity achieved by companies. Many factors determine how productive businesses are, including firm size — productivity generally increases as companies grow — management strategy, workforce skills and the tools, technologies and equipment available to employees.

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Statistics Canada’s Annual Head Office Survey

Statistics Canada’s latest survey of head offices provides updated counts of direct head office jobs for each province and the most important metropolitan areas across the country.

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Budget 2019 delivers some promising program spending but little to address B.C.'s deteriorating competitiveness

The Business Council is concerned that policy-makers are underplaying signs of softening growth globally and in North America. Increasing costs, an inability to advance major projects, and significant uncertainty for investors and firms looking to expand are eroding confidence and overall competitiveness in B.C.

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Release: Business leaders offer mixed views on 2019 B.C. Budget

Today’s Budget points to higher program spending amid a slowing economy and an increasingly challenging environment for many B.C. companies. Some of the new spending commitments hold promise but taken together will “bake in” a higher level of government costs on a going-forward basis. At the same time, the Budget contains little that will strengthen the province’s economic fundamentals or improve our competitive position over the medium-term.

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Throne Speech heavy on costs but offers little to build the foundations for a strong, innovative B.C. economy

Following today’s Throne Speech, the Business Council of British Columbia is concerned about the lack of government attention being paid to the provincial economy. Maintaining and enhancing the government services upon which so many British Columbians rely is an essential role of government. However, the ability to provide high quality public services which enhance our collective quality of life depends on a competitive and thriving economy.

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Williams Op-Ed: If our economy's growing, why don't Canadians feel better off? (The Province)

We often hear that “our economy is growing” or “economic growth is strong.” Yet many hard‑working Canadians feel that their standard of living is going sideways. Their intuition is correct. Growth in Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) per person – a key measure of living standards – has been nearly stagnant for more than a decade.  

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Williams Op-Ed: Career advice for B.C. workers in the age of automation (Times Colonist)

When applying for a job or a promotion, you probably like to know how many other applicants are applying for the same position. For some workers in British Columbia, a new applicant is about to join the field: Mr. Robot. 

In a new report, the Business Council of B.C. examines the potential impact of automation across all occupations in the provincial labour market.

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A closer look at U.S. corporate and government balance sheets

The U.S. Federal Reserve expressed concern about historically high levels of corporate debt.

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Bold, long-term transportation vision required

This week’s Massey Tunnel report released by the Provincial Government is the latest reminder, over the last number of years, that we desperately need a smart, consolidated and province-wide transportation strategy that secures our future.

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Finlayson Op-Ed: Canada continuing to lose ground in global competitiveness (Business in Vancouver)

In 2018, the penny dropped on Canada’s diminished attractiveness for new business investment.

The past year saw a chorus of voices across the business community urging governments to recognize Canada’s faltering competitiveness, amid near-record capital outflows, sagging domestic equity markets and punishing price discounts for the country’s No. 1 export product: Western Canadian oil.

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Finlayson & Peacock Column: LNG Canada atop lists of stories affecting B.C. 2018 economy (Business in Vancouver)

In an environment of rapid economic and political change, further compounded by activist governments at both the federal and provincial levels, identifying 2018’s most significant stories affecting the provincial economy is challenging.  Below we take a stab at the task, focusing on developments that we judge to be of particular relevance to B.C.    

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BCBC Statement on CleanBC

Tools within the CleanBC plan support the Low-Carbon Industrial Strategy and begin to position B.C. businesses and the province to be a supplier of choice for international markets seeking lower-carbon intensive energy, commodities and other inputs for their expanding economies.

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SUBMISSION: Port modernization review

The Business Council's comments on the Government of Canada's Port Modernization Review

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The sad tale of Canadian exports

The hard reality is that, apart from oil and bits and pieces of agri-food, Canada has been losing market share, both globally and within North America, across almost the entire spectrum of traded goods, including virtually all manufactured products as well as high technology, minerals/metals, and pulp and paper, among many others.

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Government-business MOU aimed at establishing B.C. as low-carbon economy leader

British Columbia’s government and business leaders have signed a first-of-its-kind agreement to establish B.C. as a world leader in delivering low-carbon goods and services to domestic and global markets.

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: Natural gas lifts B.C. economy as housing’s contribution slows (Business in Vancouver)

The B.C. economy grew by a surprisingly robust 3.8% (after inflation) last year. This is surprising because not only does it follow a strong 3.2% expansion in 2016, but it also marks another year when the province grew at a pace above its long-run potential.

Some observers may be taken slightly aback that B.C. managed to achieve such an impressive growth rate amid an unsettled global backdrop and the early stages of a slowdown in the province’s normally busy residential housing complex.

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RESEARCH PAPER: Productivity and living standards in Canada and British Columbia

A paper prepared for the 2018 B.C. Business Summit

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Guest author: The future of decision making

How important is it for businesses to make better decisions?

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