Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveils 'Top 10 Barriers to Competitivenes'

Thursday, February 06, 2014   by: Kate Adams

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce sent the following letter to their members Thursday morning addressing what they see are the top ten challenges for Canadian business to be competitive on the international stage.


Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2014.

The Canadian Chamber undertook this initiative two years ago to draw attention to the barriers that are holding back Canada’s progress and to urge all levels of government to act more swiftly to improve our country’s ability to compete globally.
Since launching this initiative, in cooperation with our network of chambers of commerce, we have made great progress in furthering our competiveness agenda, particularly in addressing the barrier our members identified as being the greatest impediment to the success of Canadian business: the growing skills gap.

The federal government and several provincial and territorial governments have also named this issue as the country’s biggest challenge.
Addressing the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness will go a long way towards restoring Canada’s competitiveness. The Canadian Chamber is calling on its own membership, on governments, on educators, on labour organizations, and others to tackle and overcome these barriers.

Tolerating them is simply not an option. Effectively addressing these 10 barriers will sharpen Canada’s competitive edge and allow us to prosper in the global economy.
We have a choice. 

Either we act urgently to improve our competitiveness or we will pay a high price in lost jobs and prosperity.

Working together, we've started to address these problems over the past two years. The challenge for 2014 is to build on this progress and start closing the gap between Canadian businesses and our international competitors.
Thank you,

Perrin Beatty
President and Chief Executive Officer


Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness

Canada’s competitiveness continues to be severely challenged as traditional and emerging economies aggressively strive to occupy the global economic landscape. In fact, our country’s ability to remain a leader among nations continues to decline.

A 2012 World Economic Forum report ranked Canada 14th in global economic competitiveness—down two places from 2011 and sliding five places since 2009.

Improving Canada’s competitiveness requires an ambitious, aggressive and innovative private sector. Strategic thinking and smart public policies are also needed to address long-standing structural impediments that hinder businesses at a time when they need much greater flexibility to compete.

In 2012, in consultation with its members, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness. This ongoing initiative aims to direct attention to the key impediments holding back Canada’s progress and to urge all levels of government to act more swiftly in increasing our country’s ability to compete globally.

The need for action is urgent.

The standard of living of every Canadian depends on how well we as a people respond to the challenge.

We must identify and implement real, tangible solutions for breaking down the barriers to our competitiveness and for creating more opportunities and greater prosperity for Canadian businesses and families.

Video of President & CEO Perrin Beatty introducing the 2014 Top 10

The Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness 2014

Executive Summary

Barrier I: Skills shortages

Barrier II: Uncompetitive travel and tourism strategies

Barrier III: Inadequate plans for addressing deficiencies in public infrastructure

Barrier IV: Barriers to success in global markets

Barrier V: Internal barriers to trade

Barrier VI: A complex and costly tax system

Barrier VII: Lack of clear sustainability policies

Barrier VIII: The severe shortage of economic development tools for businesses in Canada’s territories

Barrier IX: Inconsistent regulatory policies between Canada and the U.S.

Barrier X: Insufficient support for innovation in Canadian manufacturing


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