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Canadian Chamber unveils Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness list

February 12, 2013

Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce unveiled its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2013 [PDF].

The Canadian Chamber undertook this initiative last year 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.

Canadian Chamber President and CEO Perrin Beatty declared the initial year of the initiative a success.

"As we take stock of the first year of the Top 10, we made progress on several of the items we targeted," said Beatty. "For example, our members recorded a major victory when our appeal for change to the regulatory processes around natural resource projects was overwhelmingly accepted by the government. For a country so dependent on the success of natural resource projects, implementing a more efficient process is a huge contributor to competitiveness.”

The Canadian Chamber's number one issue last year, as identified by the membership, was Canada's skills shortage. "We held consultations across Canada that enabled us to gain a better grasp on this critical issue. We were very satisfied to hear the Prime Minister also identify the skills shortage as the major challenge facing our country," added Beatty. The Canadian Chamber intends to maintain its focus on skills in 2013.

In addition to skills shortages, this year’s list includes barriers such as tax complexity and structure, internal barriers to trade, inadequate workforce productivity, and inadequate public infrastructure planning.

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 year,” said Beatty. “The challenge for 2013 is to build on this progress and start closing the gap between Canadian businesses and our international competitors."

For more information, consult the Canadian Chamber's Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness document or visit www.chamber.ca.

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