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Forum to probe ‘Canada’s poor innovation record’

October 15, 2014  

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In its latest Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum gave Canada its lowest global competitiveness ranking since 2006: 15th out of 144 countries, down one position from last year.

Business leaders will discuss how Canada could gain a greater competitive edge on innovation at the Toronto Global Forum on Oct. 27-28 at the Fairmont Royal York.

Canada’s poor innovation record is the result of a number of factors, ranging from a lack of access to financing to insufficient company spending on R&D. Canada’s relatively small domestic market size and trade barriers are also contributing to the country’s low performance.

“Leveraging technology in order to support tomorrow’s economic growth is a pressing issue,” said Nicholas Remillard, president and CEO of the Forum. “Canadian economic growth is predicted to plateau within the next 10 years. Supporting the innovation sector is critical for the long-term economic health of the country.”

According to a release from organizers of the event, the rapid commercialization of high-technology innovations, used in highly sophisticated equipment and advanced engineering techniques (microelectronics, genetic engineering, or telecommunications), has a profound impact on the global business ecosystem. Recent economic reports show that Canada is losing ground internationally in this area.

Scheduled speakers include:

* Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State

* Joe Oliver, Federal Minister of Finance

* Maxime Bernier, Federal Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture

* Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank Group (ADB)

* Michael Sabia, President and CEO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec;

* Al Monaco, President and CEO, Enbridge;

* Daniel L. Doctoroff, President and CEO, Bloomberg; and

* Fareed Zakaria, Host, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS Show, Editor-at-Large, Time Magazine


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