Runciman tells world Ontario is committed to competitiveness
TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Ontario has built the foundation for a strong, vibrant economy and the province's government is committed to work to continue to build on the significant economic gains made over recent years, Economic Development and Trade Minister Bob Runciman told world economic leaders today.
Runciman was in New York representing Ontario at the World Economic Forum. The Forum provided a valuable opportunity to promote awareness of Ontario's consistent economic growth and the sound fiscal management that has allowed the province to weather the recent economic slowdown.
"By cutting taxes, eliminating barriers to business growth and investing in key areas such as education and innovation, we've fostered a positive economic environment for job creation and business investment in Ontario," said Runciman. "I'm glad to be able to share Ontario's success story with economic leaders from around the world, and to understand how other jurisdictions are dealing with the current global economic challenges."
At a panel discussion on competitiveness, Runciman reaffirmed the Ontario government's commitment to stay one step ahead to ensure that the province's industries and businesses can continue to compete with the best in the world. The government has already appointed Roger Martin, Dean of the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, to chair a Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress. The Task Force's report is expected this fall.
"Canada's and Ontario's focus on skills development and competitiveness is encouraging," Martin said today. "But the continued decline in the value of the Canadian dollar is a sign that there are productivity issues that need to be addressed."
The government is also continuing to work closely with the province's business leaders to ensure that the gains Ontario has made continue to grow. Following successful consultations with the investment, chemical and industrial-commercial-institutional construction sectors, Runciman announced that he plans to work with representatives of Ontario's automotive sector - which accounts for close to 40 per cent of Ontario exports and over 19 per cent of jobs in the province - to examine strategies to promote the sector's continued strength.
"I'm eager to work with Ontario's auto industry to ensure it and the province remain strong," Runciman said. "We want to do whatever we can to ensure that Ontario's economy continues to grow and that business leaders around the world know that Ontario remains open for business."
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For further information: Media contact: James Wallace, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8779