What follows is an excerpt from the most recent issue of Research Money Magazine. The presentation slide deck from the conference is also available.
“An innovation strategy is an export strategy”: It’s a message Global Advantage Consulting CEO David Watters has been telling R$ Conference delegates since 2012. Speaking again at this year’s conference, he said increased government support for global exports would help grow more Canadian companies and reduce the country’s trade deficit, which grew to $1.9 billion in February, triple the shortfall of $628 million the month before.
Marta Morgan, associate DM at Finance Canada, agreed that an innovation agenda must be “focused on the world and on our key trading partners”.
Watters, an economist, recommended doubling the size of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service as part of a government strategy to help small- and medium-sized enterprises grow into globally competitive firms. He said Canadian firms need to boost sales by over $1 trillion to self-finance an increase in the R&D outlays and contribute to Canada achieving parity with the OECD average. For Canadian firms, this would mean a 175% increase in exports.
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