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Energy and resources offer new opportunities for Canadian manufacturers: CME

Published by Derek Lothian on February 28, 2012

Energy and resource developments across Canada offer billions of dollars in new market opportunities for Canadian manufacturers, as well as suppliers of technology, logistics and other services, according to the most recent inventory of private sector capital projects, compiled by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).

The inventory details major initiatives that are currently underway or approved to begin over the next five years. The projects cover new investments and maintenance spending in Canada's oil sands, but also include: other oil and gas projects in Western Canada and off the Atlantic coast, pipelines, forestry and mining projects in all provinces and territories, major electricity developments in many provinces, and large refineries slated for construction in BC and Newfoundland.

In total, CME estimates that energy and resource companies invested more than $85 billion in major capital projects in 2011, and is expecting investments to double over the next three years.

CME President & CEO, Jayson Myers issued the following statement:

These investments in major capital projects will drive new business for Canadian manufacturers in a variety of sectors ranging from equipment, structural steel, and metal fabricating to construction materials and parts suppliers. They will provide opportunities for engineering and construction companies, processing and environmental technology companies, and services ranging from accommodation, food, environmental, and resource services, through to land management, trucking, and distribution as well.

We are not counting other spin-offs here, either. Even more economic opportunities are being generated by the consumer spending, the innovations, and the tax revenues that result from the high value, high paying jobs that depend on these projects.

We often think of energy and resource developments in remote terms – geographically removed from the lives of most Canadians. The fact is that all Canadians stand to benefit in very real ways from the wealth created by these developments and by their suppliers.

We know from experience how important the oil sands have been over the past five years to manufacturers across Canada, and especially to those in Ontario and Quebec that have seen sales into the US market fall off significantly as a result of the recession.

Over the next five years, energy and resource projects will be even more important for manufacturers. But clearly there are challenges to overcome – like labour shortages and interprovincial trade barriers that limit our ability to build capacity in Canada. These challenges need to be addressed by the federal government, by all provinces, by our schools, and by all communities working together.

Our rich energy and resource heritage provides Canada with a unique opportunity to build a world competitive, high value adding manufacturing, technology, and services sector based on leveraging major private sector capital investments. We need to seize this opportunity now.

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