In 2014 the NLEC’s Board of Directors identified the association’s next key advocacy objective:
Affect public policy changes that will make NL one of the most competitive jurisdictions in which to do business.
“True competitiveness is measured by productivity. Productivity allows a nation to support high wages, attractive returns to capital, a strong currency – and with them, a high standard of living. What matters most is not exports per se or whether firms are domestic or foreign-owned, but the nature and productivity of the business activities taking place in a particular country.”
—Dr. Michael Porter, Harvard professor and leading authority on competitive strategy. (World Economic Forum, 2003)
Newfoundland & Labrador has room to improve our competitive position. The Employers’ Council recently commissioned the Conference Board of Canada to benchmark the business and economic environment in NL against peer jurisdictions. In their report Achieving Sustainable Prosperity: Benchmarking the Competitiveness of Newfoundland and Labrador, released on April 16th, 2015, they found that NL’s competitiveness has come a long way in the last 15 years but is still weak compared to 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. In fact, out of 32 benchmarking indicators used by the Conference Board, NL came in the bottom half of all peer jurisdictions in 20.