The Canadian food and agriculture sector is for the most part competitive and export-oriented: although challenges and opportunities vary significantly between regions, primary agriculture benefits from an abundance of natural resources and faces limited environmental constraints. Negative environmental impacts of agriculture relate mainly to local water pollution by agricultural nutrients. Productivity growth, resulting from innovation and structural change, has driven production and income growth without significantly increasing pressure on resource use. Nonetheless, the capacity to innovate is crucial to take advantage of the growing and changing demand for food and agricultural products at the global level.
As advanced economies struggle to consolidate recovery from the deepest financial crisis in modern times, promoting innovation becomes critically important to develop new products, new services, and new ways of doing thing, said OECD Secretary-General.
This paper discusses how to improve Canada’s business innovation in order to boost labour productivity and output growth. Many general framework conditions are highly favourable to business risk taking and innovation, including macro stability, openness, strong human capital, low corporate tax rates, low barriers to firm entry and flexible labour markets.
In his remarks delivered at the International Economic Forum of the Americas, Mr. Gurría affirmed that innovation will be the key to foster economic growth and to tackle the major global and social challenges of our time: persistent poverty, unemployment, climate change, water management, and health care.