Eastern Ontario continues to be impacted by a dramatically and radically transforming economy from what has gone before. Long term challenges of an aging society, market globalization, increasing energy costs, and changes in technology, promise to create ongoing issues for the region. This is coupled with evidence of heightened levels of investment by peer communities and regions looking to improve their level of service to existing and potential businesses. This reality affirms the need for a timely and collective regional approach that gives consideration to new approaches and new tools that recognize the systemic issues and challenges that are impacting our economic performance.
Where historically economic development has been driven by a competitive tax structure, the availability of serviced land, buildings, and an educated workforce, today’s economic development efforts are adding new elements to the traditional approach that require more comprehensive and collaborative strategies.
- Supporting innovation and productivity within the business community;
- Development and deployment of workforce that is responsive to the existing and emerging needs of business;
- Leveraging cultural diversity to create linkages to emerging markets; and
- Deploying a broader regional view of sectors, markets, infrastructure and workforce to reflect the reality of business, industry supply chains and trade.
Eastern Ontario must rethink the way it engages with its economy and with the opportunities it presents. To accomplish this, it must look beyond its past experience and envision the world as it will be – and as it could be if it is able to channel efforts and ideas in constructive, innovative and productive directions.