Economic Policy Reports

Surrey’s Economy

2015 Year End Stats

BC Chamber of Commerce Reports

2016 BC Chamber Proposed Resolutions

Members of the BC Chamber of Commerce meet annually to vote on the advocacy resolutions businesses would like the government of the Province of BC to consider. If you have comments on any of the 2016 resolutions, contact Anne Peterson, Policy and Research Manager.

2016 BC Chamber of Commerce Proposed Resolutions

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Reports

This section highlights reports from our Canadian Chamber of Commerce on different economic issues.

2016 Barriers to Competitiveness

The Top 10 issues aim to focus the government’s attention on the key impediments preventing Canadian businesses from reaching their full potential.


Crystal Ball Economics: What Does 2015 Have in Store for Businesses?

Oil has dropped precipitously, as has the Canadian dollar. The drop of the Russian ruble is raising the spectre of deflation rolling westward through Europe. Yet analysts are giving mixed predictions for 2015 as some see silver in the North American cloud.

Surrey Board of Trade and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, bring you Looking into the Crystal Ball: Economic, Political and Technology Outlook 2015, a compilation of a Canadian Chamber panel discussion held December 2014.

To summarize, the experts predict huge changes for the global economy as emerging markets have slowed and become more vulnerable. Even China is lowering its interest rates to support the housing market and cushion its business losses. The economic power houses are not faring well either with the European Union at 0.8% growth in 2014 and minimal increase for 2015 while Japan struggles to escape its recession.

However, the United States is growing, at nearly 4% and unemployment is down to 5.8%, the lowest in a long while. With pressure to raise interest rates, the possibility exist that investment will move from the vulnerable markets back to North America. The end of 2014 saw emerging markets retreat, commodity prices in free fall, and sluggish growth of around 3%. The economists and analysts ask whether the US economic resurgence can draw other markets along for the ride and, in fact, accelerate global growth to 4% for 2015. They also ask: “Is Canada ready?”


Measuring up: Resource Extraction’s Impact on the Environment

In the report Measures that Matter: How Canada’s Natural Resource Sector is Working to Protect the Environment, recently released by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and brought to you by the Surrey Board of Trade, the Canadian resource extraction industries and government policies are examined to provide an overview of the approaches, technologies and tools being developed to mitigate environmental impacts.

Natural resource production is needed to support local and global economic prosperity. However, there is no question that extraction activities are a major and growing concern in communities across Canada. This puts resource industries at the front lines of environmentalism and are an important part to find solutions to minimize impact.

Focusing on extractive or harvesting in forestry, mining, and oil and gas production, three principal types of impacts are examined: impacts on land (land use and biodiversity); greenhouse gas emissions; and water (water use and quality). Three key questions are asked of each strategy examined: How is industry doing? What is on the horizon? And, What is government’s role? Read the report and find out how Canada compares to the global extraction practices.


Doing More Business with China

Over the past decade, China has become Canada’s second largest and fastest growing trading partner, with exports quadrupling from $5 billion to $20 billion and imports nearly tripling from $18.6 billion to $52 billion. In fact, in 2013, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s biggest trading nation, with imports and exports

totaling $4 trillion. China’s currency, the renminbi, is also the world’s fastest growing currency, and the Chinese government is keen to liberalize the renminbi and ensure an increasing share of trade flows is denominated in the currency. With these factors in play, now is a prime opportunity for Canada to cement its commercial and diplomatic relations with the country that will one day become the world’s largest economy. It is time to establish a renminbi trading hub in Canada.

A renminbi trading hub is a centre that is authorized by China’s central bank to complete renminbi transactions, with the financial infrastructure for settlement and clearing and with sufficient liquidity to handle large transactions at a stable and predictable exchange rate.

In our report, we examine the benefits a renminbi trading hub would have on the Canadian economy. We estimate the benefits could be enormous: more than $30 billion in direct trade benefits, a more competitive financial sector, more investment in Canada and solidified commercial and diplomatic relations with the country that will soon be the world’s largest economy.


Turning it Around – How to Restore Canada’s Trade Success

The global economy and the rise of new markets hold a lot of potential for Canadian business, especially as domestic growth prospects remain limited. But companies face significant barriers to internationalization, both at home and abroad.

To address these barriers, Canada needs to take measures to improve its productivity and transportation infrastructure and open new markets with free trade agreements.


Upskilling the Workforce

This report should be seen as a step toward understanding and potentially leveraging the role of business to work with individuals, educators and governments to achieve better skills and better outcomes in Canada’s economy. With a focus on the employer’s role in the training of employees, this report raises several of the issues and gaps in the skills picture in Canada.

The training and development eco-system is complex, spanning everything from the supply side to the demand side with many actors and various actions on both sides. Consider the impact

on a learner, and potential future employee, from the players along the skills road, starting with high school guidance counsellors and teachers, to professors and instructors at the post-secondary level, co-op and internship-sponsoring employers, professional accreditation bodies and unions and, ultimately, employers of all sizes. Each and every one of these people can influence the range and quality of learning and training choices for the potential or existing employee.


Six Cold Hard Facts about Canadian Oil and Gas

Oil and gas, its transportation and its environmental and social impacts, have become one of the most pressing policy debates of the last few years. This report lays out six facts every Canadian needs to understand about the issue:

  1. Oil and gas power the Canadian economy.
  2. Canada’s only international energy market, the United States, is on a path of declining imports.
  3. New opportunities lie in Asia, but Canada lacks the infrastructure to get there.
  4. Canada loses billions each year from its lack of energy transport infrastructure.
  5. Energy can be, and is, transported safely.
  6. The world is not running out of oil. Today’s energy companies must be the catalysts to move to a lower carbon energy future.


The US Economy – Poised to Shift into High Gear

American consumers are more upbeat,1 and not without reason. Thanks to improving labour market conditions, recovering real estate values and this year’s impressive rally in U.S. equity markets, many are feeling wealthier and more confident about making big purchases. New home sales vaulted to a five-year high in June and existing home sales rose to a three-and-a half- year high. Auto sales are on track for the best year since 2007. Businesses also appear to have more confidence in the economy. In the second quarter of 2013 they accelerated spending on both equipment and structures. Forward-looking indicators have also turned up. New orders for core capital goods—a closely watched proxy for business investment plans—are at their highest level on record. Additionally, the manufacturing ISM New Orders Index has registered its highest reading since April 2011,5 pointing to acceleration in manufacturing activity in the second half of 2013.


A Competitive Tax Regime: A Building Block of a Vibrant and Productive Economy

In a highly integrated global economy, skilled workers, businesses and capital move easily across national borders, seeking the best economic opportunities. In response, many countries have overhauled their tax systems to maximize their attractiveness as a destination for talent, capital and innovation. In this report, learn from our Canadian Chamber of Commerce on how our tax system can be a tool for innovation.


Re-evaluating Canada’s International Trade: The Impact of Global Supply Chains

This report looks at the true nature of trade relationships and makes the argument that we need to look beyond traditional trade policies, important as these are, and think more broadly at all of the policies that have a major impact on the efficiency of the entire supply chain.


Canada’s Labour Market

This report examines Canada’s labour market performance in 2012 by demographic group, sector and region and forecasts job prospects for 2013.


Economic Outlook 2013-2014

The global recovery has suffered new setbacks. “A key reason is that policies in the major advanced economies have not rebuilt confidence in medium-term prospects.” Europe is in recession, other advanced economies are growing only modestly, and China and other large emerging-market economies have slowed from their blistering pace of growth of recent years. This report will tell you more about the Economic Forecast for 2013-2014.


Smart Cities of the Future

This report examines the importance of cities to Canada’s competitiveness and focuses on the evolving role of cities in the global economy, how cities are transforming themselves to attain a competitive advantage and why being “smart” is key to sustained economic growth and prosperity.


Canada’s Rare Earth Deposits offer a competitive advantage

This report sheds light on the opportunity for Canada to start punching above its weight in leveraging what is often referred to as the “oil of the 21st century.”


Preparing Canada’s Youth for the Jobs of Tomorrow

This report calls on key stakeholders to work together to ensure Canada’s youth have the skills and knowledge needed to successfully transition and integrate into the labour market.


The U.S. Economy Faces Tough Challenges

This report examines the state of the U.S. economy.


Is Canada Suffering from Dutch Disease?

This report questions whether Canada’s resource boom, rising Canadian dollar and shrinking manufacturing sector is evidence of Dutch disease.


The Impact of Oil Prices on the Canadian Economy

This report examines how large and persistent increases in the price of oil can have a significant impact on Canada’s economy through a variety of channels, including household spending, production and trade.


The Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program

This report examines Canada’s business-sector R&D performance, draws attention to global trends in R&D spending, outlines the concerns raised by Canadian businesses regarding the design and administration of the SR&ED program, and offers suggestions on how to improve the program so it stimulates more private-sector investment in R&D.


Business Tax Relief is Crucial to Canada’s Economic Success

This report examines how low business taxes promote better economic performance and lead to more tax revenue of all types in the long-run.