Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Advanced Manufacturing Summit Keynote Address

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Speaking Points

The Honourable Gary Goodyear,
Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Burlington, Ontario

November 17, 2014

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Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

I'd like to start by thanking Dr. Mo Elbestawi, McMaster's Vice-President of Research and International Affairs and, of course, Jayson Myers, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters' President and CEO, for organizing today's summit. You are covering critical topics with an impressive list of speakers and panelists. Thank you for inviting me to kick things off with the opening address.

It's great to be back in Burlington and at the Ron Joyce Centre. I was here just a few weeks ago to announce funding to support the growth of the Angel One Investor Network. This type of support helps businesses to grow and bring their innovations to markets here and beyond our borders.

Ladies and gentlemen, supporting angel investors is only one of the many ways my Agency — the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario — or FedDev Ontario as we're more commonly known, is supporting job creation and economic prosperity across the region.

I am proud to say that thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada has one of the best job creation records in the G7. We are among the leaders in economic growth — envies of the world.

Over the years, our Government has been setting the right macro-economic conditions for business innovation and global competitiveness. For example, just last year, Canada leapt from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive destinations for business. We have: lowered taxes, cut the corporate rate from over 22 percent in 2007 to 15 percent today, and removed the federal capital tax. We have cut red tape. We're helping to open global markets for our businesses.

In support of Canada's manufacturing sector, we have negotiated trade agreements that will expand market opportunities and create jobs. We've concluded seven different free trade pacts with 38 countries. Canada's two most recent trade agreements, the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement 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.

But we cannot be complacent. This is particularly true for the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing has been, and still is, the backbone of the Canadian economy. The sector employs close to 1.7 million Canadians, almost all of them in full-time jobs. It represents nearly half of Canada's business R&D and nearly two-thirds of our merchandise exports.

Canada's manufacturing sales have bounced back and are up 25 percent to its highest level since the start of the recession.

In addition, our Government has provided $1.4 billion dollars in tax relief to manufacturing companies investing in modern machinery and equipment. We have eliminated tariffs on machinery and equipment, making Canada the first tariff-free zone for manufacturing equipment imports in the G20. We have tax incentives that benefit manufacturers, such as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Program and the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance on Manufacturing and Processing Equipment.

These types of investments are critical as intense global competition is pushing manufacturing toward the use of more advanced technologies that are changing the way industry operates.

Ladies and gentlemen, advanced manufacturing presents real opportunities. Our Government gets it.

Adopting advanced technologies in manufacturing will create economic spillovers in terms of innovation, productivity, high-quality, highly skilled jobs, R&D investments, and benefits through local supply chains.

Here in southern Ontario, which is home to more than 32,000 manufacturing establishments, we need to leverage our regional assets. Southern Ontario's skilled workers, strong educational institutions, innovative clusters and companies provide a strong foundation for moving forward.

We can, and we must, tap into the global value chains and foreign markets which will position our manufacturers for success.

Over the past five years, FedDev Ontario has delivered programming and leveraged partnerships to help drive manufacturing and business growth into the 21st century.

I mentioned earlier that the manufacturing sector in Canada conducts more R&D than other sectors. However, Canadian businesses in general spend much less on R&D than counterparts in other countries. To help address this issue, FedDev Ontario has invested in centres that allow industry and researchers to team up to innovate.

For example, an auto manufacturer looking to introduce new technology now has access to applied research facilities to test it out at the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre, or MARC, located in Hamilton. FedDev Ontario worked with Mo at McMaster to partner with the university and provide $11.5 million for MARC. The Centre provides businesses with access to state-of-the-art equipment and R&D expertise in areas such as hybrid and electric powertrains, batteries and lightweight materials. MARC is allowing our region's automotive manufacturing industry to gain a competitive advantage by increasing innovation and productivity. This will help firms increase their sales, exports and growth.

To ensure manufacturing continues to be an economic engine in Canada, our Government recognizes that we need to create even more opportunities for manufacturers to develop cutting-edge, game-changing products and processes. This will bring real benefits to the sector and to the economy as a whole. It will increase productivity, lead to greater economic output and put Canadian companies at centre stage.

One way we are doing this is through the Technology Demonstration Program. It supports large-scale technology demonstration projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security sectors. These projects require collaborative effort involving various firms, universities, colleges or research institutions.

We know that when one company succeeds, so does our economy. And one of the organizations that's been devoted to helping our manufacturers succeed is the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

At the grassroots level, we need our manufacturers to start adopting productivity-enhancing advanced technologies, such as robotics, 3D printing and automated materials handling.

Today, I'm pleased to announce support for helping southern Ontario's manufacturers to invest in these types of technologies. I can assure you they will have a real impact on the bottom line of our manufacturers, by helping to reduce production costs and expand production capabilities.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been awarded up to $20 million, through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Growth and Productivity Initiative, to deliver a new program called SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth.

CME's program will provide funding for southern Ontario manufacturers that are exporting, planning to export, or selling into a supply chain, to conduct technology assessments and adopt advanced technologies.

Adopting these technologies will enable businesses to become more competitive and strengthen their ability to participate in global supply chains.

CME anticipates being able to support 200 manufacturers through this program, which will help to create up to one thousand new jobs in the region, and maintain 2,500 jobs.

FedDev Ontario has partnered with CME in the past, providing more than $38 million to deliver its SMART-branded programming in southern Ontario. This has supported more than 730 projects, which created more than 5,400 jobs and maintained more than 11,000.

I'm sure you'd agree this is significant. In addition to collaborating with CME, we have formed successful partnerships with the Yves Landry Foundation and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, whose programs have also helped manufacturers with skills training and with entering new markets.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm confident that FedDev Ontario's programming and partnerships will assist our manufacturers to leverage advanced technology, improve productivity, succeed in new markets and benefit local supply chains.

This will build a stronger, more resilient regional economy and solidify Canada's position as an internationally competitive player.

Thank you.

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