"Mexico, a serious competitor" Minister Runciman warns business leaders
LONDON, ON, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - Ontario Economic Development and Trade Minister Bob Runciman has urged Ontario businesses to make sure their radar is working and to watch out for blips on the screen. In a speech today to the London Chamber of Commerce, he said that vigilance is needed, partly because 93 percent of the province's exports, worth 193 billion dollars, go to the U.S. and Mexico wants a piece of the action. Runciman said, "Mexico's competitiveness is not to be underestimated." He said that since NAFTA, Mexico has been "on a remarkable export drive".
Runciman cited other warning signs: "The U.S. manufacturing sector has marked its twelfth consecutive monthly decline. There is continued reverberation as a result of the high tech meltdown."
However, Runciman was quick to point out the good news. The veteran cabinet minister noted that low taxes, balanced budgets, red tape reductions and other measures by the Mike Harris government have improved the province's business climate. The Minister stated that these actions will help Ontario weather any storm and that the province's economic growth continues, but at a slower pace than in recent years.
Runciman warned that, though there is a lot of good news, it would be wrong to coast. He cited the global economy and urged business leaders to work hard to stay competitive. The Minister said, "We cannot be complacent. We can't take progress for granted, even for a moment." Runciman stressed there's more work to be done, and that it would be a mistake to go back to the big- spending and high taxing policies of previous governments.
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For further information: Hal Vincent, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8779