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Five key takeaways from the 2023 Economic Outlook Forum

With rising costs, inflation and labour shortages top of mind for B.C. businesses, the 2023 Economic Outlook Forum, presented by Scotiabank, was a timely look at the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.
Expert insights from Scotiabank Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist Jean-Francois Perrault and former Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz bookended panel discussions with industry leaders and journalists on developments they anticipate in 2023.

5 Key Takeaways

1. Stability is Key

"Our company in particular has invested about $2 billion over the last 10 years, and we are contemplating another investment, but we just have to know the conditions in which we are making the investment, and can we have a reasonable expectation of return...we need predictability."

- Susan Yurkovich, Senior Vice President, Global Business Development, Canfor

2. Housing First

"I think for the first time in a long time, we have the province, the city and other municipalities - everybody in the same line about housing - Focusing on supply, not just demand and how we can fix the housing crisis."

- Walter Pela, Regional Managing Partner, KPMG

 3. Opportunity in Crisis

"If you worry too much about the risks too much about recession and you batten down the hatches and you protect against all these risks what you end up doing is missing out on trends and opportunities. The reality is that recessions and periods of weakness are periods of opportunity."

- Jean-Francois Perrault, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist, Scotiabank

4. Cracking Climate Change

"The world is not going to net zero by a magic wand; we are going to get there by doing carbon capture properly. We need to figure out the decarbonization part."

- Stephen Poloz, Special Advisor, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and Former Governor, Bank of Canada (2013-2020)

5. Progress on Permitting

"[The time taken to get a permit] is a big issue, and we heard it at the State of the City Address as well...If ABC Vancouver and the majority council can get even close to the targets they are setting, then it would be a win"

- Dan Fumano, City Columnist, Vancouver Sun & Province

The year ahead will present unprecedented challenges as businesses grapple with a rapidly evolving economic environment influenced by forces both domestic and international in scope. As a convenor of the business community, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade will continue to harness the insights of industry experts and business leaders to ensure the Greater Vancouver region can continue to grow and thrive.

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