OTTAWA: The pace of economic development in Asia and South America and the new economic power attached to it offer Canada a chance to lead and prosper, states a new report commissioned by the Canadian International Council.
The report outlines a global action plan for prosperity:
- Develop clear international policies
- Enahncing Canada’s economic position is the objective of diplomacy
- External relations are just as important as domestic policy
- Win provincial buy-in
- National interest is hurt by sudden shifts in policy
- Moralism is not a policy. Speak softly and with credibility
- Be prepared to lead. Followers lose control of the agenda
- In a networked world, all connections count, but some more than others
- Stick to the plan and allow time to generate results
- Live up to our commitments and be serious about the comittments we make
- National interests and national values are not competing concepts
- Knowledge is the new horsepower—make Canada the centre of as many knowledge networks as possible
The report suggests we are armed with natural and intellectual resources that positiojn us as a leader on the world stage—if we act now. If we don’t, we will be left behind, unable to catch up to the new growth engines in China, India, Brazil and Mexico.
With Europe in a shambles, the UK copying Canada’s budgetary policies and the entire world looking for someone to say ” follow me!” the time for Canada has come.
Concurrently, “game changers” such as the decline in US influence, the emergence of India and China as economic powerhouses and the evolution of innovation into the greatest generator of wealth in the global economy all point to a singular opportunity for Canada to “build connections and position itself in the middle of the action.”
“…the time is ripe to present new and controversial ways for Canada to get in the game, lead where it matters most for us. To do less would marginalize the country and jeopardize prosperity for generations,” he added.
Open Canada: A Global Positioning Strategy for a Networked Age says “the financial crisis has presented us with a mini-Suez moment.” Just as the Suez Crisis in the 1950’s put Canadian diplomacy on the world stage—so today Canada can leverage its financial strength, technology savvy and governance culture to build global influence.
“This report is a call-to-action,” said Dr. Jennifer Jeffs, CIC president. “the GPS Report confronts the issues that most confound Canadians: our relationship with the United States, exploiting the oil sands without getting a black eye, Arctic sovereignty, defence and diplomacy, prosperity and innovation.
“The solutions offered by our panel crackle with freshness and realism,” Jeffs added. “They are not weighed by prejudice and politics. They represent the voice of a new generation of leaders. CIC plans to offer many venues where Canadians can add their voices to the discussion.”
The Canadian International Council (CIC) is an independent, member-based council established to strengthen Canada’s role in international affairs.