Adding Value—Canada as a Platform for Global Manufacturing: Competitiveness in Canadian Manufacturing

The Conference Board of Canada, 56 pages, June 11, 2013
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This report examines Canadian competitiveness in manufacturing. It presents a clear picture of forces that impact competitiveness in the Canadian manufacturing sector and seeks to inform further discussion on the subject.

Document Highlights

Manufacturing is a key element for a healthy economy and represents the single largest business sector in Canada. Although the sector has begun to recover from the international recession of 2008–09, it still faces many challenges and has yet to attain pre-recession levels. Fierce pressures on the manufacturing sector demand increasingly nimble, service-oriented, and specialized manufactured goods. In this changing world, maintaining competitiveness is essential.

Through a comprehensive literature review, a series of interviews with manufacturing and competitiveness stakeholders, and conference proceedings, this report examines Canadian competitiveness in manufacturing. The report identifies three broad themes that work to impact competitiveness and contribute to an innovation ecosystem: human capital; government policies, investments and influence; and the Canadian physical environment. 

This report presents a clear picture of forces that impact competitiveness in the Canadian manufacturing sector. The goal is to set the stage for further understanding and discussion around competitiveness in the Canadian manufacturing sector.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction: Setting the Context

Chapter 2—International Competition:How Does Canada Compare?

  • Canada’s Manufacturing Sector Today—and Tomorrow
  • How Are Other Countries Increasing Their Competitiveness?

Chapter 3—Driving Forces: Manufacturing Competiveness in Canada

  • The Innovation Ecosystem
  • Human Capital
  • Government Policies, Investments, and Influence
  • Canada’s Physical Constraints and Inputs

Chapter 4—Challenges for Competitiveness

  • Challenge: Canada’s International Image and Global Competition
  • Challenge: Strategic Collaboration
  • Challenge: Keeping and Growing Talent
  • Challenge: Policy to Foster an Ecosystem for Innovation
  • Challenge: Addressing the High Cost of Manufacturing in Canada
  • Challenge: Industry’s Role

Appendix A—Canadian Manufacturing Sector SWOT Assessment

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Appendix B—Industry Profiles

  • Chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Textiles and Apparel
  • Fabricated Metal Products
  • Primary Metals
  • Computer and Electronic Products
  • Aerospace Products
  • Motor Vehicle and Parts Industry

Appendix B—Interview Guide

  • Driving Forces Behind Competitive Manufacturing: The Canadian Situation

Appendix D—Bibliography

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