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Achieving Sustainable Prosperity: Benchmarking the Competitiveness of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Conference Board of Canada, 128 pages, April 16, 2015
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This report discusses Newfoundland and Labrador’s competitive strengths and weaknesses against its peers to identify areas where the province can improve its competitive business environment. This is to build a path to sustainable prosperity, in light of the province’s aging population and current dependence on finite resources in the oil and mining industries.

Document Highlights

  • Newfoundland and Labrador has been enjoying economic, fiscal, and productivity growth for 20 years due to the development of the offshore oil and metal mining sectors.
  • However, these resources are finite and the government is too reliant on revenues from the oil sector, so the sustainability of the province’s current prosperity is put into question.
  • A second challenge for the province is its rapidly aging population with the resulting impact on the labour force and on health care expenditures.
  • The province’s competitive position must be strong to ensure sustainable prosperity in light of these ongoing and future challenges.
  • This report benchmarks the province’s business competitiveness in four areas—innovation, investment, human capital, and the business and policy environment—against nine of its direct competitors.
  • Results of this benchmarking analysis show that the province’s competitiveness has much room for improvement when compared with these competitors.
  • Policy recommendations are presented to help the province meet the upcoming challenges of aging and resource depletion and enhance its competitive business environment.
  • Areas of recommended policy reform include boosting immigration, investing in productivity-enhancing infrastructure, curbing public administration spending, and creating a sovereign wealth fund, among others.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—Competitiveness Framework

  • What Is “Competitiveness”?
  • Indicator Selection
  • Jurisdiction Selection
  • Report-Card-Style Ranking and Policy Recommendations

Chapter 3—Benchmarking Results

  • The Big Picture
  • Innovation
  • Investment
  • Human Capital
  • Business and Policy Environment

Chapter 4—Challenges and Opportunities

  • Policies to Boost Innovation
  • Policies to Support and Expand Investment
  • Policies to Strengthen the Labour Force
  • Policies for a More Competitive and Sustainable Fiscal Environment

Chapter 5—Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

Appendix B—Jurisdiction Selection Methodology

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