The latest report from The Conference Board of Canada comes bearing a warning: the economic and business world has changed, and so must the country’s policies.
The report, titled Canada’s New Trade and Technology Paradigm: Finding the Right Policy Mix, examines how Canada is positioned for a new trade era. This new era is characterized by:
- the end of the China-driven commodity super-cycle
- the U.S.’s rebounding economy
- the rise of data-driven international businesses
“The new global trade landscape raises new challenges for Canada,” said Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist, The Conference Board of Canada. “It will no longer be enough to focus on tariff reductions to position Canada for export success.”
Without falling back on high commodity prices or traditional manufacturing, Canada must establish new policies.
“Data will be a key asset of the future,” said Danielle Goldfarb, Director for the Conference Board’s Global Commerce Centre and co-author of the report. “Policies will need to place much more emphasis on the movement of data, people, services, and investment.”
The rise of data has triggered an increase in non-traditional trade. Companies can digitize information to allow for faster and easier global trade. Additionally, companies that use “Internet of Things” sensors amass huge amounts of customer behaviour and logistics data.
As more and more industries adapt, however, competition soars.
On top of all these economic shifts, climate change poses another test. The significant environmental impact of international trade has increased the demand for new policies. Canada has both the opportunity and the challenge to foster this demand for green trade.