Blog Archives: Canada’s Role in the World
Rick Waugh, CEO, Scotiabank, argues that Canada has a unique opportunity to take advantage of the ‘Canadian brand’ of a strong economy and monetary and fiscal policies, a financial system that is in good shape, and a wealth of resources that the world wants. He speaks about the growth potential in emerging economies and the role that government can play in ensuring Canadian businesses can succeed abroad. Mr. Waugh gave this interview during the Canadian Business Leadership Forum 2012.… Read more »
Scientists have known since the 1930s that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal human growth, but it was only in the 1990s that public awareness of its health benefits increased dramatically. A Canadian entrepreneur, John Risley, played a significant role in the commercialization of omega-3 supplements. Mr. Risley, the founder, president and chief executive officer of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc., began studying the possible health advantages of fish oil after seeing scientific evidence supporting its benefits for the heart and brain.
In 1997 he launched Ocean Nutrition Canada. Working closely with experts, the company developed a breakthrough technology that transformed fish oil into a tasteless, odorless powder finer than flour – a supplement that could be added to a wide range of food products, from beverages to bread. Today, Ocean Nutrition is the world’s leading supplier of omega-3 ingredients to the dietary supplement and food manufacturing sectors – a multi-billion-dollar market, fueled by increasing media attention, consumer awareness and proven health benefits. In May 2012, Ocean Nutrition was sold to a Dutch-based company for $540 million – compelling evidence of innovation’s potential to create value.
Most energy production in this country is still in the hands of Canadian-based companies, but foreign activity is nothing new in the oil patch, says Peters & Co., a Calgary-based consulting firm. Canadian companies are responsible for 59% of Canada’s domestic oil production and 54% of natural gas production. The two largest producers, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and Suncor Energy Inc., are Canadian-based, although Suncor started as a subsidiary of U.S.-based Sun Co Inc.
At a time when it is estimated that Canada needs about $600 billion in investment to develop the oil sands, and the Canadian government is debating bids from CNOOC and Petronas for Canadian companies, it is important to remember that Canada has a long history of looking outside of our borders for investment.… Read more »
The North Atlantic right whale is among the world’s rarest and most endangered whale species. For centuries, they were hunted for their oil, meat and baleen (whalebone), to the point where there are now believed to be fewer than 500 in existence.
The Bay of Fundy is a natural habitat for the North American right whale due to the area’s strong tidal currents, which concentrate large quantities of the tiny crustaceans on which the whales feed. Until a decade ago, however, the whale population in the Bay of Fundy was in sharp decline as a result of collisions with large ships.
Determined to lessen the impact on whales and reduce the likelihood of ship strikes, managers at Irving Oil Limited partnered with the New England Aquarium and Dalhousie University on a research project that recommended changes to the shipping lanes in the area, a plan that was adopted by the International Marine Organization. The relocation of the shipping lanes in 2003 – the first time shipping lanes had ever been altered to protect an endangered species – reduced the danger of ship collisions with whales by 90 percent, and since then there have been no known ship strikes in … Read more »
On September 24 and 25, 2012, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives will host “Canada in the Pacific Century”, a conference bringing together more than 200 top CEOs, senior government officials, educators and other leaders from across Canadian society. The goal of the conference is to consider strategies that will ensure Canada’s success in a world in which economic power is shifting to Asia.
Portions of the conference will be available via live webcast. Click here
For more information about the conference, visit www.PacificCentury.ca.
China needs more energy to power its rapidly growing economy, but it will not wait around for Canada if our country cannot deliver, Ambassador Zhang Junsai told the Calgary Herald in an article published today. The Chinese envoy to Canada specifically mentioned a lack of infrastructure as a barrier to Canadian energy exports to Asia. He pointed out that other countries could easily supply China with the energy it needs. Venezuela, for example, is receiving significant investment from China to secure future Chinese energy supply.
Brian Emmett, an Ottawa-based consultant and former senior government official, agrees. “Our resources are large, but other countries are well-endowed, too, and many of our resources are either in remote areas or difficult and costly to extract,” Mr. Emmett writes in The Globe and Mail.… Read more »
Economists from several major Canadian banks raised their 2012 Canadian economic growth forecasts this week. “Some of the worst-case scenarios [on Europe, the U.S. and China] look a little less worrisome now than they did, say, in December,” said RBC chief economist Craig Wright. “The uncertainty is easing.” Wright now expects the Canadian economy to grow by 2.6 per cent this year; back in December he was predicting an increase of 2.5 per cent. High commodity prices, strong corporate balance sheets, and renewed demand from the United States for Canadian exports are among the factors that will drive growth in Canada, the forecaster says. As the economic picture brightens, business confidence is increasing. According to a recent Statistics Canada survey, Canadian businesses plan to increase their investments in construction and machinery and equipment by 6.2 per cent this year to a record $394.1 billion.… Read more »
Canada-China relations took an important step forward today, with the announcement that the two countries have reached agreement on an investment-protection deal. The Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection agreement (FIPA) will allow Canadian business leaders to invest with greater confidence. The deal will go into effect after reviews and legal ratifications in both countries. CCCE member Pierre Beaudoin, CEO of Bombardier, is in China with the Prime Minister this week. He said his company hasn’t faced many investment issues in China but would like to see a FIPA nonetheless. “Any trade agreement that helps clarify how you would resolve a dispute is a good thing,” Beaudoin said. “Right now it’s not something I look to use but it could help in the future.”… Read more »
Canada’s dependence on the United States as a trading partner is declining, TD Economics reports. By 2020 the United States will account for 67 per cent of Canadian exports, down from a peak of 84 per cent in 2002. At the same time, the direct contribution of U.S.-bound exports to Canadian GDP will stabilize at 20 per cent, almost half its share 10 years ago, the bank said. A number of factors are behind this trend, including a strong Canadian dollar, the weakness of the U.S. economy, and growing foreign competition. While our trade relationship with the United States might not be what it once was, Canadian exports to China have more than doubled since 2002 and exports to Europe have increased by 83 per cent.… Read more »
Uncertain economic times may be leading some companies to skimp on investing in innovation, but not in Canada, a survey of business executives in 22 countries suggests. Commissioned by GE, the second annual “Global Innovation Barometer” found that 75% of global executives are reassessing the risks of innovation and more than 60% say it has become more difficult to obtain funding for innovation. Canadian executives, however, are more optimistic about the future of innovation in this country. “Canadians share a global conviction that innovation is a key driver of economic transformation,” says Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada. At the same time, the GE study contains some important lessons for Canada. “We need to increase the speed at which innovative products are coming to market, improve the efficiency of public/private support, and tell a stronger story globally, if we want to improve productivity and drive next-generation innovation,” Allan says.… Read more »