CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA - Calgary Economic Development, in conjunction with Monitor Deloitte, recently completed a study “Benchmarking Calgary’s Competitiveness”. The purpose of the study was to better understand how Calgary compares to 10 peer cities across five broad categories: Human Capital, Economic Strength, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Cost of Doing Business and Livability.
For the purposes of the study, competitiveness is defined as ‘the condition created when government, industry and Calgarians work together to pursue prosperity’, and competitor cities were drawn from around the world and included cities with industry strengths similar to Calgary:
- Rio de Janeiro
“Now more than ever, it is important we understand our positions of strength, risks and weaknesses,” said Mary Moran, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development.
The study found that Calgary’s past success is derived from a knowledge driven economy claiming top rankings in the areas of education and diversity. The study draws on 2014 and 2015 data and, while metrics such as GDP and population growth have changed significantly in the past year, we remain a city with a talented, diverse and creative workforce, which are the key ingredients to advance diversification and innovation.
“Obviously, we are greatly concerned, that although we ranked high in the areas of economic strength such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GDP per capita and GDP growth rates in 2014, the situation has dramatically changed in 2015” continued Moran. “That said, we are most fortunate that we have a highly skilled workforce with global perspective and it is important that we provide an environment that allows them to not only survive but thrive to achieve our innovation and diversification goals. Companies considering Calgary, will not only find more economical office space than we’ve seen in years but can be assured of finding a youthful, talented, educated and diverse workforce to drive creativity and innovation in their business.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are measures that consider Calgary’s desire to take risks in establishing and managing business ventures and ventures into uncharted business territory. Calgary ranked third behind Singapore and Chicago with respect to research and development expenditures per capita and third behind Houston and Rotterdam with respect the number of small and medium businesses per capita.
The study also identifies opportunities where Calgary needs improvement to remain competitive. Before the changes in taxation policies introduced in 2015, Calgary ranked middle of the pack with respect to cost of doing business and livability, including income tax rate for median single worker, corporate taxes, housing affordability, and number of LEED certified buildings per capita
In keeping with the goal of purposefully diversifying our economy in Building on our Energy: a 10-year Economic Strategy for Calgary, Calgary Economic Development will continue working with stakeholders and government partners at all levels to address these areas of concern and opportunity.
“This study continues our long history of providing independent and objective assessments around the world promoting economic development,” according to Mark Li, Partner at Monitor Deloitte. “In partnership with Calgary Economic Development, we are excited to showcase the opportunities to leverage Calgary’s diversity, innovation and competitiveness.”