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Canada not realizing full prosperity potential, says Institute

Davos, Switzerland -- Canadians have built one of the world's most prosperous economies, but the country is still n...


Davos, Switzerland — Canadians have built one of the world’s most prosperous economies, but the country is still not realizing its full prosperity potential, according to the Toronto-based Institute for Competetiveness and Prosperity (ICAP).

To do this, individuals, businesses, and governments must work together to increase investments for future prosperity and to strengthen market structures that stimulate innovation and upgrading, the Institute said in its Canadian report at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The report, Realizing Canada’s prosperity potential,

was presented Jan. 28, 2005.

The Institute found that Canada’s prosperity gap with the US widened from $6,000 per capita in 2002 to $7,200 in 2003. This gap translates into an unrealized potential of $15,000 after-tax disposable income for the average Canadian family and $90 billion in lost tax revenues for federal and provincial governments.

The Institute is concerned that, while Canada has the potential for economic growth, its situation could deteriorate if the country does not act now. Roger Martin, chairman of the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress, said, “We need to avoid a vicious downward economic spiral of under investment, reduced productivity, reduced capacity to invest, further reduced productivity, and the resultant restriction in our standard of living. Instead, we can create a virtuous circle by investing more and strengthening structures to increase productivity and prosperity.”

The report is available for download at www.competeprosper.ca/institute/index.html.