New Brunswick businesses need to become leaders in the use of ICT for competitive advantage, productivity, and growth. Increased use of ICT by small and medium enterprises is essential if we are to close the productivity gap with our US counterparts. By partnering with other associations, as well as with government, the NBITC is working to ensure public policy supports these goals.
“Productivity growth – the increase in the amount of output produced by workers per a given unit of effort – is the most important measure and determinant of economic performance” – Atkinson and MacKay, Understanding the Impact of ICT.
Canada’s productivity relative to the United States and the OECD countries has been steadily declining. The Council of Canadian Academies reported in May that Canada has fallen from 94% of US productivity in 1985, to just over 75% in 2007. A 2008 OECD report ranked Canada 15th amongst leading industrial nations in productivity growth between 1985 and 2006.
ICT may be able to help.
Studies over the last decade have consistently cited higher levels of ICT investment as the primary reason for the productivity advantage the US holds over Canada and Europe. In a 2006 study, the Centre for the Study of Living Standards attributed a 0.3% increase in productivity for every 1.0% growth in software capital intensity.
The NBITC wants to work with organizations such as the New Brunswick Business Council, the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to help the traditional sectors of the New Brunswick economy better understand how ICT can improve their global competitiveness.