Regional action on GTA investment and jobs needed

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Business and civic leaders are calling for a regional team effort to attract investment and jobs to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). They are citing the Roadmap to Revitalization, a report on the state of foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction and regional cooperation. Commissioned by the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA), the report was developed in conjunction with PwC, with the support of an advisory group, and under the auspices of CivicAction.

"We've had some success bringing investment here and have coordinated to a degree, but it's time to catch up with what regions like Greater Montreal and Greater London (U.K.) are doing to attract investment," said John Tory, Co-Chair of the GTMA and Chair of CivicAction.

The GTA has many strengths in its favour, such as location, size, leading industry clusters, and a talented workforce, but it is underperforming relative to its potential, the report concluded.

Foreign direct investment helps drive economic growth, and the GTA is a key engine for our country's FDI performance, representing 52% of FDI in Ontario and 24% in Canada.  But, Canada's global market share of FDI is declining. And, the Toronto region is not keeping pace with other regions that are competing aggressively for foreign investments and the jobs that they bring.

The report included case studies of high-performing FDI attraction agencies in other regions and how they drive success. These regional organizations were generating about eight times as many FDI projects as the GTMA in relation to the size of the local economy. They were also funded on average at four times the level of the GTMA.

A strong regional body could pursue and attract even more companies to the Toronto region. John Tory, called for partners to work together to act on these findings. "A properly funded, collaborative regional organization is essential," he said.

GTMA Co-Chair Dave Ryan, Mayor of Pickering, said, "Municipalities want to work together with private sector partners and other levels of government to make sure we're out there globally, showcasing every part of the region as great places for companies to locate."

Since 1997, the GTMA has helped over 100 new foreign companies locate in the GTA. These investments have generated over $440 million in GDP, or $4.4 million on average for each project. If a sustainable, competitive level of funding were secured and the organization restructured to achieve increased results, the potential impact on the region's economy would be significant.

The report can be downloaded at http://www.greatertoronto.org/publications.

About the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA)

Established in 1997, the GTMA is a public-private partnership of the 29 municipalities and regions in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), together with the Provincial and Federal governments, other non-profit organizations and a broad cross section of private sector corporations.

The GTMA is the key point of contact for exploring business opportunities in the GTA.  With the resources of its public and private sector partners, the GTMA provides essential business information and site selection services to facilitate new foreign investment in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, visit http://www.greatertoronto.org/

About CivicAction

For the past 10 years, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction) has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of our region's toughest social, economic and environmental challenges. For more information, visit www.civicaction.ca

SOURCE CivicAction

For further information:

To arrange a media interview or for additional information, please contact:

Cindy Tan
416-937-3958
cindy.tan@civicaction.ca 

Kiran Chauhan
416-947-8983
kiran.chauhan@ca.pwc.com 

Tony Romano
416-360-5758
tromano@greatertoronto.org