In the 21st Century economic growth is all about innovation, productivity, and trade. Canada’s relative performance on all three fronts has lagged. Its failure to recognize the interrelationship of these has resulted in an inability to capture its share of global opportunities where it has an advantage. If we don’t collectively act faster, we will continue to fall further behind vis a vis other developed economies.
In addition, while there is much talk of collaboration between business, government, and research institutions most of the current activity is done in siloed activities with little actual sharing focused on commercialization. While innovative ideas, capabilities, and assets are being developed they are not being properly leveraged to create the desired scale for our companies to grow domestically and create impactful international trade. Unless something is done to overcome these obstacles, BC companies risk losing out on the opportunity to capture value from India’s incredible growth and specifically the $1.3 Trillion being spent on the smart cities mission.
Much of the recent discussion in BC about future economic prosperity has focussed on China, its emerging urban centres and middle class. However, because of China’s strictly controlled central government model of city building, opportunities for Canadian companies has been limited. In addition, Canada entered the game far too late – a risk we appear to be repeating in India.