Growth engines: to ensure our vitality

In anticipation of the federal election to be held on October 21, the Conseil du patronat du Qu├ębec shares its priorities and reflections on various issues in a series of open letters.
Awhen the federal election is formally launched, the CPQ is reminding parties of the importance of committing to implement the necessary measures to ensure conditions that enable tangible acceleration of growth drivers, such as entrepreneurship , innovation, internationalization, diversification and better integration into global value chains. In the context of a global economy with an uncertain trajectory over the next few years, it is necessary to give all of our businesses the capacity to develop and adapt to ensure sustainable economic growth.

In this regard, the CPQ highlights some areas that deserve special attention:

Innovation and research

It is undeniable that companies must make every effort to improve their productivity and competitiveness. This involves, among other things, innovation and investment in R & D. Large companies play a leading role in these areas. A CPQ study showed that between 2015 and 2017, 75% of large Canadian companies introduced a product or process innovation based on Statistics Canada data. Thus, the more resources devoted to R & D, the more likely it is to see technological breakthroughs that will benefit the economy as a whole. However, R & D spending has declined significantly in recent years. To turn the tide, the federal government must, for example, strengthen the R & D tax credit, making it refundable for large companies. These tax credits could also be strengthened to provide incentives for environmental R & D, clean technologies and renewable energy. The administrative processes related to these tax credits must also be simplified and accelerated.

Productivity

One of the major challenges for our economy, in a globalized world, is to increase the productivity of our businesses, which means major investments and accompanying measures for employers. Improving accessibility to a high-speed Internet service and creating federally announced super-clusters are good initiatives, but we need to go beyond that and ensure that more concrete strategies are put in place to benefit productivity. All this also requires access to a labor force in sufficient quantity and adapted to the needs of the labor market, which is equipped with the basic skills needed in numeracy and literacy.

Of all sizes

In order to strengthen the foundations of the national economy, it is necessary to value as much the small and medium-sized companies, which represent the vast majority of our economic fabric, as the large ones. Thus, the CPQ considers that the parties must commit to creating the necessary conditions to attract these large companies, keep them and ensure their competitiveness, and this to attract foreign affiliates who invest tangibly in the country, to encourage the the development of cooperatives, or, above all, to ensure that the headquarters of large companies creating good-paying jobs are maintained here. In addition, the presence of large companies helps foster the emergence and growth of small businesses. These, in return,

Trade

The diversification of international markets has become a fundamental factor in Canada’s economic stability, particularly in the current context of growing protectionism, especially on the American side. It must be admitted, however, that the United States will remain a major trading partner. Companies should also be supported so that they can take advantage of opportunities arising from new free trade agreements. This includes information and coherence and coordination of the presence of government resources abroad. As a result, the associations that represent the companies and who know their realities well must have the necessary resources to support them.

If we appreciate the measures adopted in the steel and aluminum sector, the fact remains that the forest products sector requires urgent action. The next government should put them at the top of its list of priorities.

Conclusion

Building a solid foundation for the country’s economic vitality requires concrete action right now. By committing to act quickly to accelerate the drivers of growth, the parties will demonstrate that they have the well-being of all citizens at heart.

Local information matters to me and I want to participate in the future of my life.

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