Competition is an important driver of innovation and productivity growth. Looking at the domestic Canadian economy, perhaps one of the most significant barriers to a strong domestic economy is the lack of intense competition among domestic firms. There are many reasons for this. First of all, the size of the Canadian economy is too small to support the development of large corporations. The US on the other hand, has about a ten times larger population, and therefore, a much larger market and demand are in place for larger multinational companies to build. As a result of the lack of sufficient domestic demand in Canada, only a small number of larger firms are developed in each industry. Furthermore, Canadian firms seldom treat research and development as a priority. Unlike in the US, innovation is not a corporate culture in Canada. This can be partly due to the lack of intense domestic competition, causing firms to spend resources on other areas instead of R&D because there is no real urge to innovate and maintain competitiveness.
The government also plays a major role in determining the level of domestic competition. In the past, the Canadian government had not been supportive to introduce rivalries in its domestic industries. There had not been any clear and well defined competition policies; there were however, numerous policies enforcing tariffs for imported products that had been protecting domestic firms from competition from abroad. Although some can argue that such protectionism was necessary in the starting phase of an industry, but Canada has still been maintaining some of these... [continues]
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