ARCHIVED—Canada's Digital Economy Thriving, Industry Minister Tobin Tells U.S. Audience
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New York (May 16, 2001) - Canada's Internet economy is thriving, Industry Minister Brian Tobin told a group of 125 prominent U.S. business leaders in a keynote speech today in New York at a U.S.-Canada forum on "The Digital Economy and North American Economic Growth."
"Canada is well positioned in today's digital economy and will continue to prosper," said the Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry. "Our highly skilled workforce, recent tax cuts, business climate and technology clusters spread across the country make Canada a premier investment location. Canada's environment is not only favourable, but also conducive, to business growth and investment."
Former speakers at CED annual meetings have included Senator John McCain, Senator Russell Feingold, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, and former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
The keynote speaker at this year's annual CED meeting, Minister Tobin showcased Canada as a sound and attractive investment location. In addition to strong economic fundamentals - budget surpluses, low inflation, low unemployment - Canada boasts a highly skilled workforce, premier education institutions, and a superior quality of life. Home to technology clusters in areas such as Vancouver, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, Canada is also one of the most connected nations in the world.
Following the Minister's remarks, CED conference attendees and panelists joined representatives from the Canadian E-Business Opportunities Roundtable to discuss competition, innovation and productivity issues facing the U.S and Canada, both global leaders in the Internet economy.
Canadian panel participants included Leonard J. Brody, CEO and Chairman, ipreo and Director, Onvia Canada, John Eckert, Managing Director, McLean Watson Capital, Inc. and President, Canadian Venture Capital Association, Peter Harder, Deputy Minister of Industry, Government of Canada, Peter Nicholson, Chief Strategy Officer, BCE Inc., and John Wetmore, Vice President, ibm.com, IBM Americas.
The Minister was introduced by Edmund B. Fitzgerald, former Chair of Nortel Networks. U.S. panelists included Irwin Dorros, President, Dorros Associates and Co-chairman, CED project on e-commerce, Donald K. Peterson, President & CEO, Avaya Inc., Tom Weber, e-commerce columnist, The Wall Street Journal, Everett M. Ehrlich, President, ESC Co. National Public Radio Commentator, former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce, and Paula Stern, President, The Stern Group, Inc.
Panelists discussed how the spread of digital network technologies, the Internet in particular, is rapidly transforming commercial relationships, expanding economic opportunities, enabling the exchange of global information, raising global education levels and living standards, and escalating the war for talent.
The Committee for Economic Development (CED) is one of the United States' leading business policy organizations. CED is an independent, nonpartisan organization of over 200 business and education leaders based in Washington and NYC. CED Trustees are Chairmen, Presidents and senior executives of the largest and most respected U.S. corporations. Since 1942, CED has played a pace-setting role in strengthening the federal budget process, fostering stable economic growth with high employment, supporting open markets (free trade), and bolstering U.S. competitiveness. For more information or to obtain a copy of CED's recently released e-commerce report, please visit www.ced.org
The Canadian e-Business Opportunities Roundtable is a private sector-led, public sector-supported initiative to accelerate Canada's leadership in the Internet economy. Founded in mid-1999, the Roundtable's goal is to establish Canada as a globally recognized e-business leader to promote economic growth, job creation and better access to information, goods and services. The Roundtable has issued two reports documenting their recommendations and activities, "Fast Forward: Accelerating Canada's Leadership in the Internet Economy" (January 2000) and "Fast Forward 2.0: Taking Canada to the Next Level" (February 2001).
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