Canadian Manufacturing

Toronto Global Forum tackles economic nationalism, trade disputes, and rapid tech advances

Rehana Begg   

Canadian Manufacturing
Exporting & Importing Manufacturing Small Business Infrastructure Public Sector

The forum took place September 4-6 in Toronto. View Mayor John Tory's opening remarks. Plus, an interview with David McKay, president and CEO, RBC, at the 2018 forum

PHOTO: Mayor John Tory, during a media scrum at the opening of the Toronto Global Forum/Rehana Begg

At the 13th edition of the Toronto Global Forum (September 4-6, 2019), business leaders, government representatives and heads of state gather to discuss the complex challenges facing the international business community.

Topics of discussion include economic nationalism, trade disputes, and rapid technological advances – all of which threaten the international economic order.

The forum is organized by the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA).

This year’s program focuses on the theme, “Leading the New Economy,” and is geared to help organizations interpret the recent global financial slowdown, as well as prepare for change and foster a more sustainable economy.


In his opening remarks, and during a media scrum, Mayor John Tory conveyed his message of being open for business. He discussed Toronto and Canada’s role in “a hyper-connected, global environment.”

“This is a country that was built on relationships with other countries and on trading,” said Mayor Tory. “We need to continue to look out in order to be prosperous, but also continue to do things like advance public education, because our public education system has been a huge contributor to our success here. We need to continue our ability to trade with the rest of the world. And we need to practise an inclusive approach to make sure that people in our city and country can get ahead.”

Presented by Cogeco, The Toronto Global Forum, brings together more than 150 speakers and 3,000 delegates representing more than 65 countries.

VIDEO: John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, at the official opening of the Toronto Global Forum

VIDEO: The great skills disruption

In this video interview – from The Global Forum 2018 archive – David McKay, president and CEO, RBC, is interviewed by Louis Audet, executive chairman of the Board, Cogeco and Cogeco Communications. The forum’s theme was “Navigating a World in Disruption,” and the topic of discussion in the interview is “The Great Skills Disruption: Thriving in an Era of Transformation.”

“We’re going at a two-speed world, where we’re building the future, but retain a lot of the past,” said McKay. At some point we’ll see a merger of the two worlds, he said.

Asked what proportion of change would be expected if business would have to be done differently, Mackay said a recent report, “Humans Wanted,” indicated that upwards of 50% of jobs in society would be somewhat or largely impacted by technology change and disruption over a 10-year span. “It’s coming, it’s here, you see it in the closing of plants, and in repositioning to different types of transportation methods. It’s very real.”



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