Global Trade in Transition
Kevin Lynch, Vice-Chairman of BMO Financial Group and former Clerk of the Privy Council, addressed an overflow crowd of Nova Scotia public servants, students and members of the business community in Halifax Oct. 24th.
In an era of disruption and uncertainty, pervasive technological change rising inequality and populist uprisings as well as increasing U.S. attacks on globalization, Canada needs to make trade diversification a reality rather than a slogan, according to Dr. Lynch. “Trade diversification is now a necessity, and has to include China.”
Dr. Lynch, who is originally from Sydney, N.S., had some advice for his home province, which is making considerable efforts to expand trade with China. Nova Scotia needs NOT a China Strategy – but a provincial strategy. “Pick a province in China, and focus there.”
Other advice re China:
– bring in reverse trade missions;
– arrange for a direct flight from China to Halifax;
– focus on high potential sub-sectors, such as agriculture, natural
resources, and forestry; and
– build an understanding of Chinese culture and history.
Beyond trade diversification, Dr. Lynch suggested that Canada focus on increasing competitiveness (as both a social and economic issue), develop new trade policy and political alliances and immunize against populism.
Dr. Lynch’s presentation was co-sponsored by CIC Halifax and the Nova Scotia chapter of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.