Policy reform at home is critical to Canada's global success

    OTTAWA, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Trade and investment promotion and
negotiation abroad are likelier to boost Canada's global economic performance,
after barriers to trade, investment and competition have been addressed at
home, according to a new Conference Board publication.
    "Trips abroad to negotiate agreements with other countries or promote
Canadian trade and investment put the cart before the horse," said Danielle
Goldfarb, Principal Research Associate. "Were Canada to eliminate barriers to
competition, trade and investment within its control-from addressing
infrastructure deficits to removing interprovincial barriers-it would be
better-positioned to take advantage of global trade and investment
    The British Columbia-Alberta trade, investment and labour mobility
agreement (TILMA) that takes effect April 1st is a promising step. This
agreement commits to eliminating many trade and business barriers between the
two provinces. For example, once TILMA is implemented, businesses will have to
register in either province, but not both.
    Evidence from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
and the World Trade Organization suggests that Canada has very high trade,
competition and investment barriers compared to other developed countries.
Further research indicates that changes Canada makes to its own policies are
likely to result in greater trade and investment gains than policy changes
made by other countries-to allow, for example, greater Canadian access to
their markets.
    Canada could dismantle some of the following barriers to make trade and
investment gains:

    - Regulatory standards and processes, especially those that differ among
      provinces or between Canada and trading partners
    - Government purchasing restrictions
    - Lack of credential recognition and restrictions on labour mobility
    - Transportation and infrastructure restrictions
    - Border policies

    The publication, If We Can Fix It Here, We Can Make It Anywhere:
Effective Policies at Home to Boost Canada's Global Success, is publicly
available at www.e-library.ca. It is published by the Conference Board's newly
established International Trade and Investment Centre,
www.conferenceboard.ca/ITIC/. Made up of more than 20 leading public and
private sector organizations, the Centre aims to help Canadian leaders better
understand what global economic dynamics mean for public policies and business

For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448, corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca

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