Become a Supporter

Cameron: Is the rise of state capitalism a threat to economies like Canada’s?

By: /
13 February, 2012

I would not frame the issue quite that way. Canada is embracing a strategy of growth based increasingly on extractive industries, the pursuit of new export markets, and often unimaginative infrastructure projects. All this is combined with fiscal austerity and very little emphasis on long-term investments in productivity and competitiveness. China, on the other hand, is using liberalization and competition to advance its industrial development without abandoning dirigisme – much less surrendering control to foreign multinationals. They have a longer-term perspective. Our obsession with (and naïve faith in) trade agreements will leave us at a competitive disadvantage over the long haul. Trade agreements don’t make businesses competitive, and the Chinese know that. It is not quite right to frame the issue in terms of “state capitalism” vs. free markets, because both countries are pursuing market models. But in 5 years China will be the world’s largest economy and we’re lagging because we’re too distracted by giant pandas and pipelines to get on with promoting innovative industries.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter