OTTAWA (March 30, 2007) - The public and private sectors in the city of Ottawa should use the community's edge in digital services to establish a global advantage based on the creation of a virtual "global necklace" of cities, the Executive Vice President of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance told a leadership audience today.
Speaking to OCRI's Leadership Series, Barry Gander said that Ottawa can only continue its climb in the provision of knowledge-intensive jobs if it goes after a "golden triangle" target. "The golden triangle sweet spot for Ottawa is to go after collaborative partnerships in digital services in Commonwealth developing economies."
Mr. Gander noted that global trade is now the "main event", surpassing the opportunities available from regional North American trade. "Global trade has tripled in the past 15 years to $9-Trillion; it will soar to $70-Trillion by 2025. Within that trade band, the developing economies are the big news, as they have just passed the developed economies in the value of their GDP. And the increase in the value of the global economy is coming almost entirely from digital services."
CATA's partner Monster Canada did a survey of the knowledge-intensive jobs in the Ottawa area, and found that job openings continue to rise steadily, showing an encouraging strength. "In 2005 there were about 1,000 jobs offered each month in Ottawa, rising to 1,500 in 2006 and almost 1,800 so far this year. We have to adopt a strategy that allows the Ottawa area to keep feeding that job rise."
That strategy involves the adoption of a "Collaborative Web", or Co-Web, as the lever for sustained municipal job growth. "The Co-Web is the brainchild of Commonwealth Advantage President the Honourable Sinclair Stevens," said Mr. Gander. "We partnered on its inaugural launch last month, when we created a virtual conference on healthcare between Canada, India and Pakistan. We circled the world in 14 hours, bridging healthcare silos to unite the strengths of these Commonwealth countries."
In the Co-Web event, Mr. Stevens stated that "Even five years ago this would not have been possible. Today with 160 million internet users in our Commonwealth of Nations we can reach out to health providers involved in governments and related profit and not for profit associations and companies. We will become a focus of co-operation for all in the Commonwealth who seek to deliver better health care to our two billion people - one-third of the world's population. We will also use our unique position to take our know how in universal public health care to other areas of the world. The United Kingdom can be our bridge to Europe while India and Pakistan will lead us to China, Asia and the Middle East."
CATA, the Commonwealth Advantage and OCRI will work together to investigate the potential of making Ottawa the central hub in a digital network of Commonwealth cities. "Hopefully, the City of Ottawa could join us in the experiment," said Mr. Gander. "We want to create live links that encourage business matchmaking, deal-making and partnerships. The Co-Web, with its continuing online community, is a 'digital stage' that allows for cost-effective introductions and explorations. The Co-Web is an invitation to open-ended growth.
"We are using Ottawa's strength in digital services to take advantage of the Internet economy. We would like to see Ottawa become the virtual capital of the virtual age."
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