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During the Guelph Economic Leadership Forum held today, we released a new report entitled Only the Smart Survive: How Canada Can Remain Competitive in Manufacturing with some help from David Paterson, Vice President, Corporate and Environmental Affairs at General Motors of Canada and Immediate Past Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and from Kithio Mwanzia, President and CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.

In this report, we examine how the future of Canada’s manufacturing sector will be shaped by our capacity to move away from the traditional manufacturing model and instead leverage creativity, technology and innovation.

With a strong and educated workforce, access to key export markets and a stable financing regime, Canada should be a good place for manufacturers to do business. Yet, we’re losing ground because, on balance, we’re not quick enough to embrace new technology and because we measure manufacturing success exclusively by outputs, rather than by what can be gained in the process. By trying to play it safe, we’re falling behind more nimble jurisdictions that are more capable of adapting.

To turn this trend around, we have to recognize that new technology is reshaping the global manufacturing landscape and changing where companies choose to invest. Canada can position itself as a manufacturing powerhouse by investing in research and development and adopting new and innovative technology. It’s time for Canada to make bold choices in order to regain its global competitiveness.

The report also contains seven recommendations for government to consider, ranging from regulatory harmonization to foreign direct investment and alignment of public R&D spending.

Find out more by clicking here to read the report.

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