Industry Minister James Moore today toured the Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax Shipyard, the facility that will produce the Royal Canadian Navy's newest combat fleet as part of Canada's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
During his visit to the facility, the Minister hosted a round-table discussion with local industry leaders to discuss the future of Atlantic Canada's manufacturing industry. This round table is part of the Minister's cross-country tour to discuss the strength of Canada's manufacturing sector and to engage business leaders on opportunities for growth. The tour coincides with National Manufacturing Month, an effort by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters to educate Canadians about the sector's economic and social impact.
During the consultation, the Minister heard from business leaders about issues that affect companies' competitiveness-domestically and abroad-and how government and business can each take steps to position the industry for continued success and growth. He highlighted the actions the government has taken to support the manufacturing industry and to establish the right economic conditions for success. These included lowering taxes, cutting the corporate tax rate from over 22 percent in 2007 to 15 percent today, and removing the federal capital tax.
The Minister also emphasized the sector's importance to the Canadian economy, citing the impressive fact that manufacturing employs close to 1.7 million people in a high-tech, high-skill sector. It is one of Canada's largest business industries.
-- Canada's manufacturing sales have bounced back and are up more than 25 percent since the recession. -- The industry has become a high-tech, high-skill economic engine in Canada, accounting for almost 11 percent of GDP. The government has made significant investments to support an innovative and competitive manufacturing industry in Canada. For example, under the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), our government is providing close to $1 billion to create economic and technological benefits throughout the economy, to help attract and retain highly qualified workers, and to lay the groundwork for partnerships. Ultra Electronics Marine Systems Inc. was the first Atlantic Canadian company to receive a SADI repayable contribution. -- A key part of supporting manufacturers is ensuring that they have global markets for the goods they produce. Through its Global Commerce Strategy, the government concluded seven different free trade pacts with 37 countries. It has also concluded or implemented foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with 22 countries and continues to deepen trade ties with the largest, most dynamic markets in the world. -- Canada's two most recent trade agreements, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, promise to add at least $14 billion annually in new economic activity, equivalent to creating more than 90,000 new jobs. -- Since 2006, Canada has gone from having free trade agreements with only five countries to now having free trade agreements in force, or being finalized, with 43 countries around the world. -- Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expect Canada to be among the strongest growing economies in the G7 over this year and next. -- In 2013, Canada leapt from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive destinations for business. -- According to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are the lowest in the G7.Quotes
"Our government remains focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs and economic growth. And Canada's manufacturing industry has huge potential for Canada's economic future. I am pleased to have had very productive conversations with leaders in Atlantic Canada's manufacturing industry and look forward to hearing more ideas on how we can further work together to build and attract high-value-added manufacturing to Atlantic Canada."
- James Moore, Industry Minister
"We are proud to be an active, growing member of Canada's manufacturing industry, a position that Halifax Shipyard has held for more than 125 years. Irving Shipbuilding is investing heavily to ensure we are the most modern shipyard in North America. This investment will allow us to build Canada's next combat fleet in the most effective and efficient manner possible as well as maintain our position within the shipbuilding industry far into the future. Shipbuilding is definitely an important part of the value-added manufacturing sector, and one that has great historical significance to our region."
- Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding
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