Canadian Manufacturing

New growth or old growth, do your research

by Michael Ouellette   

Research & Development fraud mergers and acquisitions Research

Manufacturing bust goes boom...curtains that can power your iPod...Sino-Forest gets at the CN Tower...Fukushima gets even scarier. Editor Michael Ouellette keeps an eye on weekend business news so you can focus on R&R.

The International Monetary Fund, the world’s economic policy and research agency, has forecast Canada to lead the world’s advanced economies in growth.

Pretty good news, all things considered, and it seems to be borne out in the latest Statistics Canada report that says 2010 saw the largest single annual increase in manufacturing sales since 2000.

This is an important development, because we know that all advanced economies have manufacturing as their economic core, even if government doesn’t want to admit it.

While the motor vehicles sector led the rally in 2010, it may well have an unheralded competitor in a few years.


Indeed, Canada’s textiles industry—long thought to be the dead-man-walking of our resource-based economy—looks to be on the revival path with nano-impregnated fabrics that can store enough solar power to run all sorts of household electronics while exhibiting strength that rivals steel. Now that’s a product I can get behind.

There’s a nasty drama unfolding between Sino-Forest Corp., the Globe and Mail and Carson Block, a short seller that runs Muddy Waters LLC, a research firm focused on Chinese businesses.

Block has alleged fraud on a massive scale in Sino’s dealings in China. The Globe dispatched a reporter to China, who discovered things are looking pretty dodgy. Sino-Forest reacted by saying everyone is a bunch of nincompoops. Shareholders were unconvinced and scattered like rats on the Edmund Fitzgerald, pushing Sino’s stock down a catastrophic 82 per cent since June 2. This should get interesting in the months to come.

If you are planning an acquisition, new market development, new product development or looking to open an operation overseas, you would do well to peruse Apple’s iBookstore. The University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business has 500 of its business case studies available for download at $3.99 each. Could be the cheapest market research you’ve ever done.

Check out this picture of Mark Laroche, president and CEO of Canada Lands Co., walking on the outside of the CN Tower in Toronto. Not much in the way of business news, but I’m fascinated by this.

Finally, Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has been dubbed “…the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind,” with completely terrifying ramifications reaching as far west as Seattle.

Enjoy your Monday reading. Please feel free to email me with any comments, concerns or story ideas.


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