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Government procurement must be more strategic at federal, provincial and municipal levels: CME

Published by Derek Lothian on September 26, 2012

All levels of government must take immediate steps to leverage strategic procurement to create new business opportunities and drive economic growth in communities across the country, according to a report published today by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the country’s largest trade and industry association.
 
In the document, CME calls on government leaders to better take advantage of exclusions negotiated in international trade agreements and implement policies that would maximize returns on public investment. It also recommends changes that would allow more small businesses to access procurement opportunities – a key pillar in the US system for decades.
 
“Canada has one of the most open government procurement markets in the world; but asymmetry with some of our major trading partners has caused an imbalance, where Canadian manufacturers do not have the same opportunities abroad,” explains Martin Lavoie, CME’s director of innovation. “It’s important that ongoing trade negotiations with countries like India and China reinforce the principle of reciprocity, so they provide a strong incentive for other nations to open up procurement as well.”
 
Lavoie points to such policies as Buy American in the United States as particularly damaging to Canadian business. But some of the effects, he says, can be mitigated by using the billions of dollars spent by provincial and municipal governments each year on things like healthcare equipment and infrastructure to generate more significant economic spin-offs.
 
“It’s time to start looking at industry regional benefits (IBP) policy and what it means to the overall health of manufacturing,” adds Lavoie. “Investment and procurement are both key drivers of innovation. It’s absolutely vital we use all the tools at our disposal to maintain open markets, but to ensure the best products and built – and purchased – here in Canada.”

To download a copy of the report, please click here.

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For more information:

Derek Lothian
Manager, National Communications
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Phone: 613-296-2156
E-mail: derek.lothian@cme-mec.ca

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