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Gowlings helps business leaders deliver message to Parliament Hill: The time to engage emerging markets is now

Jun. 26, 2012
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In a Gowlings-sponsored report released today, Canada’s top business leaders, policy experts and academics are sending a clear message: it’s time for Canada to strengthen its relationships with the world’s emerging markets or risk being left behind.

The report, Winning in a Changing World: Canada & Emerging Markets, was hand-delivered to Prime Minister Stephen Harper this morning during a private meeting with the report’s authors, which included Gowlings strategic adviser and report co-chair Len Edwards. The report will also be shared with opposition leaders, premiers and territorial leaders.

“This report is an important wake-up call to governments and businesses alike,” said Edwards, who previously served as Canada’s deputy minister for Foreign Affairs and for International Trade. “Gowlings’ support for this timely work reflects our appreciation of the challenges our clients face in forging winning strategies in a hyper-competitive 21st century, in which global wealth, opportunity and economic power are quickly shifting to emerging markets.” 

Key findings of the report include:

  • Emerging economies in China, India, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia and South Africa are expanding at more than twice the rate of Canada’s more traditional markets.
  • By 2015, emerging economies are expected to account for more than half the world’s production and consumption of goods and services. By mid-century, emerging markets are expected to be home to 70 per cent of the world’s wealth and 60 per cent of global trade.
  • Canadians are currently minor players in these markets: less than 10 per cent of Canadian exports and less than four per cent of outward investment go to these emerging markets.
  • To be competitive, Canadian firms must aggressively reach out to the world’s most promising and dynamic markets. In turn, federal and provincial governments must create an environment at home and abroad that enhances the capacity of Canadian businesses to be successful international players.
  • A new partnership among all levels of government and the private sector is needed to lead more focused trade and investment negotiations, create a more competitive business environment in Canada, and build public awareness of the importance of global markets to Canadian prosperity.

Winning in a Changing World is the result of months of research and roundtable discussions across Canada through the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. The final report was guided by a national advisory council featuring prominent members of Canada’s business, policy and academic communities, and was co-sponsored by SNC-Lavalin, Barrick Gold Corporation, AGF, CGI, Enbridge, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, CIBC and iPolitics.

Read the full report: Winning in a Changing World: Canada & Emerging Markets

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