We released a new whitepaper today, Reasserting Canadian Internet Competitiveness, which concludes that the current competitiveness gap between Canada’s digital economy and those of other G20 nations can be closed with smart public policy. Representatives from Google Canada, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey will participate in a panel at the Economic Club of Canada today to discuss the importance of the digital economy to Canada’s future.
“The proliferation of Internet-enabled systems and devices allows businesses to innovate and grow, helps Governments to provide services, and expands human capacity to interact, collaborate, and share knowledge,” The Internet Association notes in the whitepaper. “As Canada’s policy-makers struggle to improve the country’s competitiveness, a key part of the answer is hidden in plain sight. The future performance of the Canadian economy is dependent on the dynamism of the Internet economy.”
According to a 2014 report by Comscore, Canada ranks number one overall in the number of web pages visited per month, and a separate report conducted by CIRA, indicates that Canadians are second only to the United States for the average number of hours spent online per user. While Internet usage in Canada is high, only 45.5 percent of Canadian businesses have a website. The whitepaper identifies increased adoption of the Internet by small and medium sized businesses as a clear area for economic growth.
“The Government of Canada can grow the Internet economy with supportive policies like tax credits that encourage small and medium sized businesses to adopt digital technologies,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association. “Promoting Internet access nationwide and increasing STEM education will ensure Canada’s workforce has the skill set needed for a 21st Century economy and help Canada close the competitiveness gap that exists with other G20 nations.”