A new report suggests that Canadian businesses can and should do more to integrate new immigrants if they wish to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace.
The report, compiled and released by workers at the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre, points out that despite its growing population diversity, Canada still remains heavily dependent on just a few trading partners – particularly, the United States and Europe.
The authors of the report argue that Canada is missing a huge opportunity to build and strengthen economic ties with emerging markets in countries like China, India and Brazil. Furthermore, the conception of immigration is changing, as more and more people are becoming citizens of the world – travelling and maintaining ties with several countries at once.
With its looming labour shortages and an increasingly competitive market for talent, Canada must become more aggressive in not only attracting skilled workers, but also in providing the necessary tools for adaptation and success once the immigrant has arrived.
Integrating newcomers economically benefits employers, which, in turn, benefits all of Canada. Workers with cultural and social ties to their native countries (diaspora networks) – like those from India, which has one of the fastest growing populations in the world – provide an invaluable tool to tap into emerging markets.
The report argues for increased efforts on the part of Canadian businesses to work with professional immigrant networks and immigrant resource groups, for instance. The authors also advocate for increased efforts from the government on several fronts. Student and business visas, for instance, take much too long to process in today’s instant economy. New arrivals need more freedom to travel, which often is limited by permanent residency landing requirements. There needs to be more awareness regarding the unrealistic expectation of Canadian experience.
If Canada is able to recognize the value of tapping into and prioritizing immigrant diaspora networks of culture and communication, then and only then will it be able to maximize its economic potential in today’s, and tomorrow’s, global market.
Source: Toronto Star