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The Canada-India economic relationship continues to gain strength but more needs to be done to overcome trade and investment barriers between the two countries, Canadian business leaders say.
To address these challenges and ensure that the partnership lives up to its potential, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) urges both governments to redouble their efforts to conclude a broad and ambitious bilateral free trade agreement.
In 2010, Canada and India launched negotiations toward a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The goal of the talks is to boost two-way trade and investment, create jobs and contribute to economic growth in both countries.
Between 2012 and 2013, merchandise trade between India and Canada grew by 12 per cent to $5.8 billion. India is now Canada’s 11th largest export market and 18th largest source of imports. However, the two countries are still a long way from achieving the target set in 2009 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Indian counterpart, Dr. Manmohan Singh — expanding annual bilateral merchandise trade to $15 billion by 2015.
The modest rate of progress can be attributed to the existence of a wide range of commercial barriers, including:
- India’s complex regulatory framework for imports of agricultural
The 2014 federal budget presents a plan for returning Canada to a select group of nations with balanced budgets by 2015.
“Balancing the federal budget and maintaining discipline to pay down the debt are not only the right things to do, they are essential for Canada’s global competitiveness,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).
He added that the CCCE is also looking to provincial governments for their balanced budget plans. “At a time when the economy is growing, it is essential for all levels of government to prepare for any future downturns,” Mr. Manley said.
The CCCE is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing 150 chief executives and leading entrepreneurs in all sectors and regions of the country.
Mr. Manley also highlighted the opportunity for the federal government to identify long-term strategic priorities that deserve discussion in the run-up to next year’s election. These priorities were outlined in a pre-budget letter to the Minister of Finance.
“A top priority – one that will require Ottawa to work closely with the provinces and territories – is a national labour market strategy that will help equip young people … Read more »
The Government of Canada should establish a clear timetable to eliminate the onerous visa requirement for travellers from Mexico, says The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).
As a first step, Canada could begin by announcing that it will waive the requirement for Mexicans who already hold valid U.S. visas, Mr. Manley said.
Canada imposed the visa requirement on Mexican travellers in 2009 to deter bogus refugee claimants. Since then, Ottawa has tightened Canada’s refugee rules, dramatically reducing the number of false asylum claims. The visa requirement , however, remains in place, creating a significant hurdle for Mexican tourists and business visitors.
Mr. Manley was commenting in advance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s planned meeting next week with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama in Toluca, Mexico. It will be the first trilateral continental summit since President Peña Nieto assumed office in December 2012.
To mark the visit, the CCCE is today publishing a report on the Canada-Mexico relationship by Laura Dawson, a trade policy expert and President of Ottawa-based Dawson Strategic. Titled Canada’s Trade With Mexico: Where we’ve been, where we’re going and why it matters, … Read more »
Canada’s school boards could significantly improve the quality of classroom instruction by introducing a credible and effective system of teacher evaluation, a new report says.
“All teachers need – and can benefit from – regular assessments and feedback,” says the report, which was written by Sachin Maharaj, a Toronto teacher and education researcher.
Unlike millions of employees in the private and public sectors, Canadian teachers are not subject to regular performance reviews. Ontario, for example, requires its teachers to undergo a limited evaluation only once every five years, while Alberta does not require any evaluation.
When evaluations do occur, they are often based on a simple satisfactory/unsatisfactory rating system following a single, prearranged visit to the classroom by the principal. “Since the visit is scheduled well in advance, teachers often put on a show, one that bears little resemblance to a typical class,” Maharaj says.
In practice, all but a tiny fraction of teachers are rated “satisfactory”. As a result, the system provides essentially no useful information and does nothing to help improve the quality of instruction. Nor does it help teachers to grow as professionals.
“The obvious question is why we would continue doing something that nearly everyone involved … Read more »
A survey of 100 major Canadian companies shows they expect to hire more than 700,000 people over the next five years to fill vacancies, replace retiring workers and meet anticipated growth.
Job opportunities will come in all industries, but particularly in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, energy, mining, construction, transport and retail, the survey indicates.
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), whose members represent 150 leading employers across Canada, conducted the survey in October and November of 2013. Two-thirds of the CCCE’s member companies participated in the survey.
The names of the companies that took part in the study were not disclosed, but respondents include major banks and other financial services providers, retailers, manufacturers, telecommunications companies, energy producers, food processors, transportation firms and real estate developers, among others.
Nearly half of the 100 companies said they expect to hire more than 2,000 people each over the next five years. Fourteen companies anticipate filling more than 10,000 positions each.
“These results appear positive for recent graduates and other young Canadians who are preparing to enter the labour force,” the CCCE said in a preliminary report on the survey’s findings. “Overall, they suggest that Canada’s largest companies anticipate a rising need for … Read more »
Statement by The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, on today’s announcement that the National Energy Board (NEB) has conditionally approved the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project:
“Canada’s success in the 21st century will depend in part on our country’s ability to take advantage of fast-growing economies in Asia. For that reason, I am encouraged by the NEB’s decision today to conditionally approve the Northern Gateway pipeline project. The International Energy Agency estimates that over the next 20 years demand for oil will double in India and grow by 80 percent in China. Canada, with the world’s third largest oil reserves, badly needs new pipeline infrastructure that will enable our country to attract investment and access global markets.
“Canada’s energy industry is a vital agent of economic growth and high-quality jobs. It generates billions of dollars in royalties and tax revenues every year that help sustain social priorities across the country. Investments made by the oil and gas sector benefit communities, service providers and workers from coast to coast.
“Today’s NEB decision imposes strict conditions on the construction, operation and maintenance of the Northern Gateway pipeline. These measures will ensure that … Read more »
Business leaders note progress on Border Action Plan, but urge governments to move further and faster
The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) welcomed today’s release by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama of the second annual Beyond the Border Action Plan Implementation Report.
The report details progress made to date across all areas of work under the Action Plan, which was launched two years ago with the aim of enhancing economic growth and job creation in both Canada and the United States by streamlining cross-border travel and trade.
“Although the Action Plan has not yet had a transformative effect on cross-border commerce, today’s Implementation Report does offer clear evidence of progress,” said The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the CCCE.
- Enrolment in NEXUS, a program designed to expedite the border-clearance process for pre-approved travellers, has increased 50 per cent in two years. In addition, the two governments have opened new NEXUS lanes at land-border crossings and now allow NEXUS-approved passengers to use priority screening lanes at major airports.
- A pilot project for U.S.-bound cargo arriving by ship at Prince Rupert, British Columbia, has reduced inspection times at the border to an average of 19 minutes compared two hours for shipments not included in the pilot project.
Statement by The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, on the announcement of an agreement on trade facilitation during the Bali Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO):
“The WTO trade facilitation agreement will simplify customs procedures and reduce the costs of trade, which will in turn boost economic growth and create jobs. The agreement will improve the efficiency of global supply chains, and as a result, the benefits to the world economy could be as high as $1 trillion.
“After 12 years of negotiations, the Doha Round remains stalled while regional agreements are flourishing. Given that multilateral rules are the foundation for global trade, I remain very concerned at the lack of progress. This trade facilitation agreement is a promising first step, but more must be done at the WTO to improve the multilateral trade rules that underpin Canada’s commercial relations with the rest of the world.”
The CCCE is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing 150 chief executives and leading entrepreneurs in all sectors and regions of the country. Its member companies collectively employ 1.5 million Canadians and are responsible for most of Canada’s private sector investments, exports, … Read more »
Business leaders highlight Canada’s poor performance in international surveys of skills and education outcomes
Canada urgently needs a strategy to arrest the country’s declining performance in international surveys of skills and education outcomes, says The Honourable John Manley, President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).
“It’s time to stop congratulating ourselves on the quality of our primary, secondary and post-secondary education systems, and face up to the fact that Canada’s performance in international rankings is getting worse, not better,” he said.
The CCCE is Canada’s senior business association, representing the CEOs and entrepreneurs of 150 leading enterprises in all sectors and regions of the country.
In an address to the Canadian Club of Toronto marking the launch of a major new CCCE initiative –“Taking Action for Canada: Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century” – Mr. Manley cited several recent reports that raise questions about the extent to which Canada is preparing its citizens for success in the knowledge-based economy.
For example, an extensive study conducted in 2012 and published last month by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that Canadians aged 16 to 24 rank below average in both literacy and numeracy compared to their peers in 23 other developed countries and regions.
The study, … Read more »
Statement by The Honourable John Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Council of Chief Executives, at the Government of Canada’s launch of the Global Markets Action Plan:
“With one in five Canadian jobs linked to exports, promoting Canadian commercial interests abroad is critical to our competitiveness and prosperity. The Global Markets Action Plan aligns Canada’s trade promotion resources to help Canadian companies take advantage of opportunities in high-growth emerging markets and traditional markets of strength. By identifying economic diplomacy as a key to advancing Canadian commercial interests, the federal government is ensuring Canadian companies have the support to succeed abroad.”
The CCCE is the senior voice of Canada’s business community, representing 150 chief executives and leading entrepreneurs in all sectors and regions of the country. Its member companies collectively employ 1.5 million Canadians and are responsible for most of Canada’s private sector investments, exports, workplace training and research and development.… Read more »