My Financial Post columns lately have dealt with an unusually weighty subject: the future of the Canadian economy in a global marketplace.
There is no going back. Nor should we want to. The global economy may have taken our low-skill manufacturing jobs, and may be gunning for the high-skill jobs next. But it puts us right where we want to be: selling civilization to the rest of the world.
Canadians are in an enviable position to sell the goods and services that can build cities and developing nations: dams, roads, public services, skyscrapers, malls, governance institutions, stock markets, schools, mines, refineries, even (ironically) factories. So many developing nations are ready to splurge on high-quality infrastructure, and who better to sell it to them than us – who have built such a great country at 20 below zero?
Our economic future lies in selling services and high-end products to an emerging class of countries that want these products and can pay for them. We’re not the only people who are trying to sell this stuff – think of Europe and the Americans. But we have unique advantages – a more multicultural society than any in Europe, and a stronger and more respectful “worldview” than the Americans.
This opportunity is ours to seize. Or lose.
We need more entrepreneurs. People who see the opportunities in change, not the drawbacks. Skilled people who confident of their abilities and able to build trust with customers in all parts of the world. Instilling these skills and values in Canadians should be Job 1 for our governments and schools.
We can change the world.
You can click here to read my Jan. 3 column, “Prepare for the great global tournament.”
Click here for this week’s follow-up column, “Canada's future lies in knowledge.”