MRO Magazine

Canada’s competitiveness performance: cautious optimism, but room for improvement


October 6, 2015
By Bill Roebuck

Ottawa – Canada saw moderate improvement this year on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), according to the Conference Board of Canada. Canada ranked thirteenth, up two places from 2014, and reversing the downward trend that has characterized its performance in recent years.

With a few notable exceptions, Canada’s strengths and weaknesses on the GCI have remained relatively consistent over the past several years. Canada is characterized by well-developed financial markets (fourth), efficient labour markets (seventh), and high-quality health and primary education systems (seventh).

Canada saw notable change in three areas this year, moving up 12 places on the macroeconomic-environment pillar, and moving up four places in the areas of financial market development and technological readiness. Canada’s macroeconomic environment continues to improve, moving to 39th place from its 51st place ranking last year. It ranks well above G7 peer countries such as France (77th), the US (96th), and the United Kingdom (108th), but lags behind Germany (20th) and Australia (28th). However, assessments of Canada’s macroeconomic performance are based on 2014 data — low oil prices may negatively impact Canada’s future performance on this indicator.

While Canada saw a small improvement in its performance on business sophistication, both innovation and business sophistication remained competitive weaknesses and our country’s Achilles’ heel.