Today’s global economy is making the world smaller, and traditional trade patterns are shifting. Ensuring Canada is prepared to navigate this new reality is crucial to the country’s economic growth and success.
It is also a unique opportunity for Canada to advance its global leadership. Canada’s Port Authorities gathered in Belledune, NB, on August 17th, for the annual ACPA conference to plot Canada’s economic course through these changing maritime trade winds.
Nearly 200 delegates will discuss the most pressing issues facing Canada’s ports, including intense discussions about the economic importance of ports and their position at the center of 21st century supply chains.
“Over the last decade, with an uncertain global economy, the maritime industry has shown that it can be innovative in building partnerships, significantly benefiting our Canadian transportation system,” says Rayburn Doucett, President and CEO of the Belledune Port Authority. “Our conference will encourage the creation of effective partnerships to help usher in a new era of maritime industry cooperation within Canada.”
Canadian Port Authorities handle more than 60 per cent of Canada’s waterborne cargo, worth an estimated $162 billion annually. This activity supports a quarter-million well-paying direct and indirect jobs. For every million tonnes of new cargo through these ports, 300 new jobs are created.
“Consider that 90 per cent of everything we buy travels by ship, including cars, tools, electronics, resources, food and medicines,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Montreal Port Authority and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities. “Canadians rely on shipped goods every day. We buy, therefore we must ship.”
As Canada continues to pursue international trade agreements — like the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union — the importance of efficient ports grows significantly. Stronger ports means stronger supply chains for all industries. More trade necessitates the expansion of port infrastructure.
The World Bank recently ranked Canada as the world’s 14th most efficient nation in its trading practices — based on efficiency of clearing process, quality of infrastructure, the ease of arranging competitively priced shipments and other key factors.
“In our view, 14th is not good enough for one of the world’s leading trading nations,” said Wendy Zatylny, President of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities. “Our goal should be to break into the top 10, and we are confident that we can achieve that goal. With the partnership and support of the Government of Canada, Canada’s Port Authorities will be able to ensure our infrastructure is able to support expanded international trade and that our supply chains operate smoothly and efficiently.”
The 2014 ACPA Conference also includes a trade show to provide marine industry exhibitors with a unique opportunity to showcase their services and network with the delegates and executives of the ACPA membership.
Press Release, August 20, 2014