Foreign acquisitions of Canadian companies are wakeup call for Canada to become more competitive globally, says Investment Industry Association

    TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - "Recent reports that Canada's economic demise is
imminent as a result of the acquisitions by foreign firms of Canadian-bred
companies are misleading," said Ian Russell, President and CEO of the
Investment Industry Association of Canada at an Economic Club of Toronto
luncheon held today in Toronto.
    "The degree of activity in the global marketplace has not been bad for
Canada so far. We have held our own on the global stage: the dollar value of
our exports has increased by almost 8 percent since 2001. China's demands for
our industrial raw materials have pushed up world prices for our commodities.
Canadian GDP has grown at 3 percent in the past four years. The ratio of
Canadian firms acquiring versus being acquired is almost 3:1," said Russell.
    "Competition from developing nations has, to a large extent, driven our
economy and Canada has benefited from globalization, however, there are
nonetheless early signs that our ability to compete may be threatened. We need
to take steps now to shape a national policy that will enable us to compete in
the global environment and allow us to prosper in the years ahead."
    According to the Mr. Russell, our current problems have not been created
by globalization - they have been created because we do not have strong enough
internal or regulatory incentives for growing our businesses. To promote our
economic growth and support competitive strength, the head of the Investment
Industry Association outlined a six-point plan:

    -   A favourable tax environment - we must reform the tax system to
        encourage increased capital formation, especially for smaller
    -   Better trade policies - we need regulatory reform in our trade
        policies. Globalization requires policies with a worldview.
    -   Clear and consistent decision-making - how government implements the
        policies is just as important as which policies are implemented.
    -   A national securities regulator - the federal and provincial
        governments need to work together to lower the regulatory burden in
        capital markets, and improve our competitiveness.
    -   A principle-based - not rules-based - regulatory regime - a
        regulatory system that facilitates efficient markets while ensuring
    -   A commitment to productivity - our government needs to articulate the
        urgency of getting on with our competitive agenda.

    Our social and physical infrastructure, our natural resource base, our
educated population give us a great starting place on the global playing
field. "We must now put in place the policies to encourage competitiveness in
the new global environment," said Russell.
    For a full copy of Ian Russell's remarks, please visit

    The Investment Industry Association of Canada, formerly the industry
association arm of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA),
advances the position of the Canadian investment industry on regulatory and
public policy issues. As the professional association for the industry, the
Investment Industry Association has a mandate to promote efficient, fair and
competitive capital markets for Canada while helping its member firms across
the country succeed in the industry.

For further information:

For further information: Annie Côté-Kennedy, Investment Industry
Association of Canada, (416) 687-5474 (Office),

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Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC)

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