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Posted: May 15, 2020

Emerging Economy report released amid pandemic

A 14-member Emerging Economy Task Force May 11 released 25 recommendations to help B.C. navigate global trends and technological advancements over the next 10 to 25 years.

The report will also be a valuable resource to help inform the province’s COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery, suggested a Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness media release.

The recommendations are presented within five key strategic priorities:

* embracing technology and innovation;

* leveraging B.C.’s green economy;

* building a highly skilled and adaptable workforce;

* ensuring an effective enabling ecosystem;

* demonstrating public sector leadership.

“The Emerging Economy Task Force looked at the most current innovations, consumer behaviour and economic sectors to identify where B.C. is going in the future,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness. “This important work allows us to prepare for the opportunities that lie ahead – and this report can’t come at a better time. As we plan to build B.C. back from COVID-19, our economic recovery needs this forward thinking so we can create family-supporting jobs across British Columbia.”

The task force’s objective was to take a long-term view on how global trends will affect B.C.’s economy and to identify emerging opportunities across all sectors of the province.

The task force, led by chair Kathy Kinloch, president of the BC Institute of Technology, was brought together in July 2018 to provide a better understanding of how global conditions and emerging technological advancements will shape the future of B.C.’s economy.

MLA Doug Clovechok

“The work of the Emerging Economy Task Force provided a venue to explore future economic opportunities and identify challenges for B.C.,” said Kinloch. “There is a need to shift how we approach our economy in multiple dimensions, and we have offered initial recommendations in five strategic priorities. Undoubtedly, this work will need to continue and is particularly accentuated in a post COVID-19 world. On behalf of the task force, I would like to thank the B.C. government for the opportunity to hear from industry, academic and community leaders, where it became clear that the commitment to a stronger economy is a shared goal.”

The two East Kootenay-based Members of the Legislative Assembly pointed out that times have changed since the task force completed its work, with the world’s economy sagged by a pandemic.

“The work of this task force and this report were done before COVID and the world has totally changed since then. While we need to keep looking forward at ways to make B.C. better, we also need to take into consideration how this pandemic has impacted the existing economy, and how we need to ensure we’re supporting that as well as looking to the future,” said Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok.

MLA Tom Shypitka

“I would like to recognize that Cranbrook’s own Eric Termuende sat on this task force giving advice from industry-leading organizations, institutions, and associations on future-proofing teams, talent management, and building community for the workplace,” said Tom Shypitka, Kootenay East MLA.

“The economy is a moving target and there is no better example than the situation we are currently in. The report came out in March of this year before the shutdown of our economy due to the pandemic. Many will ask how relevant the findings from this report now are. I believe any report is only as good as the input received.  There was some criticism that there was not enough input from rural communities. I believe establishing a good framework with healthy dialogue across all spectrums of diversity with measurable goals and flexibility as conditions evolve is key.

“As we now move into the recovery phase of COVID-19 we need to be acutely aware that process needs to be streamlined more than ever before. Timely delays from unnecessary red tape need to be coupled with clear objectives and incentivizing industry,” Shypitka told e-KNOW.

Read the Emerging Economy Task Force final report.


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