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Bureaucracy, lack of innovation hurt Canada as place to do business: survey

A lack of innovation and too much red tape continue to be barriers for doing business in Canada, a new Canadian survey suggests.


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July 10, 2013 by Canadian Plastics

A lack of innovation and too much red tape continue to be barriers for doing business in Canada, a new Canadian survey suggests.

In an executive opinion survey for the independent think-tank World Economic Forum, those Canadian business leaders who responded see the usual suspects – inefficient government bureaucracy and a lack of innovation – as the main obstacles to doing business in Canada.

“Canada is generally a good place to do business, but poor innovation performance is hindering our competitive potential,” Douglas Watt, director of organizational effectiveness and learning research at the Conference Board of Canada, said in a statement. “Firms in Canada need a business environment that gives them the capacity to innovate without facing undue barriers in bringing new innovations to market.”  

According to the World Economic Forum, Canadian business leaders indicated that the five most problematic factors for doing business were inefficient government bureaucracy; insufficient capacity to innovate; limited access to financing; inadequately educated workforce; and tax rates and tax regulations.

Overall, 16.4 per cent of Canadian business leaders identified inefficient government bureaucracy as a problem.

The only country that ranked this factor as frequently as in Canada was Italy, according to the survey results.

An insufficient capacity to innovate was identified as a problem by 15.1 per cent of Canadian business leaders.

Two items, “inefficient government bureaucracy” and “access to financing,” have been ranked by Canadian business leaders as top problematic factors for the past five Executive Opinion Surveys.

In contrast, tax rates and restrictive labour regulations ranked high among the most problematic factors between 2008 and 2010.

In 2011 and 2012, tax rates and labour regulations dropped in importance as a problem for doing business.