The NL Employers’ Council (NLEC) released key findings of a Conference Board of Canada study that examines Newfoundland and Labrador’s strengths and weaknesses relative to its closest competitors today at the Sheraton Hotel. The study, Achieving Sustainable Prosperity: Benchmarking the Competitiveness of Newfoundland and Labrador, was commissioned by the NLEC to generate recommendations to improve the competitiveness of NLs business environment to in order to grow the economy and sustain prosperity.
“Private sector business is the engine that drives our economy. Creating a more competitive business environment will create jobs and contribute to long term prosperity for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Richard Alexander, NLEC Executive Director. “It is time for Newfoundland and Labrador to look outside our borders and aim to improve our economic and business environment not just in absolute terms, but in terms of our direct competitors.”
The Conference Board grades NLs competitive performance against nine national and international competitor jurisdictions in the areas of innovation, investment, education and skill level, labour market and the business and policy environment. The report provides a “reality check” for the province and indicates that some economic restructuring is needed to maintain productivity growth and sustain economic prosperity for future generations. The report shows that while our province has come a long way, we are lagging behind our direct competitors, scoring in the bottom half on 21 out of 32 indicators.
The NLEC has chosen seven policy recommendations generated from the report that the organization has asked government to address starting in the upcoming provincial budget. They are:
- Allocate more resources towards immigration
- Remove trade barriers
- Increase public investments in infrastructure
- Reduce program spending by reorganizing and reducing the size of the public service
- Improve outcomes in government programs, particularly education
- Maintain competitive taxation
- Return to surplus budgets, pay down debt and establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund by 2018
To read the full report visit: http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=6956
View just some of the media coverage received so far: