|B.C.’s economy faces a serious challenge: our businesses’ global competitiveness has been sliding for some time. Since 2009, Canada has slid to 14th place from 9th in the World Economic Forum’s annual list of the world’s most competitive countries. Additionally, a recent Conference Board of Canada report found that B.C. is lagging many of its peer Canadian jurisdictions, ranking 7th for productivity compared to other provinces.
To find solutions to this challenge, the BC Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the B.C. government to launch Competitiveness BC Forums. Through these forums, the BC Chamber is canvassing businesses’ ideas about what problems they’re facing, and any solutions that can help businesses can better compete.
These forums will hone in on barriers to B.C.’s competitiveness and productivity. It is important to understand that improving these metrics is not about getting employees to work harder. Productivity is actually about finding innovative ways to meet customer needs. It’s about creating an atmosphere in the workplace that makes work more satisfying for all. It’s about being more efficient – learning to use less effort, space, equipment and time to produce goods and deliver services.
The first of the forums, generously funded by the B.C. government, was held Thursday, June 5 in West Kelowna.
“Business leaders from Kelowna and the Central Okanagan region kicked off this consultation process with strong engagement and great ideas,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, who was in Kelowna for the forum. “As always, B.C.’s businesses bring critical insights to policy challenges, and the Kelowna forum demonstrated that. We look forward to hearing more great ideas from more business communities as we continue our cross-B.C. forums.”
Upcoming forums are scheduled for:
- June 18: Vancouver
- June 19: Terrace
- June 25: Prince George
- June 26: Fort St. John
- Fall: Additional forums will be announced that will include events in the Kootenays, Vancouver Island and Thompson Regions.