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[URBAN NOTE] “New agency aims to attract foreign investment to Greater Toronto Area”

The Globe and Mail‘s Josh O’Kane describes how, in an era of incipient protectionism in the United States, the city of Toronto has set up a new agency to attract investment.

Toronto and its surrounding municipalities are doubling down on efforts to entice foreign investment, with a new agency designed to pull new business and money into the region.

The cities and regions of Greater Toronto will join the federal and Ontario governments in spending $19.5-million over three years to launch the agency, which is to be called Toronto Global. It will be chaired by former Canadian Football League commissioner Mark Cohon, with former airport executive Toby Lennox as chief executive officer.

The initiative seizes a moment where global trade and investment patterns are shrouded in uncertainty because of the protectionist agenda of Donald Trump. The new U.S. President has said his administration will renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement and has used the threat of border taxes to discourage manufacturers that sell into the U.S. market from making products outside the United States.

Despite those threats, the new Toronto agency aims to lure investors into Canada’s biggest metropolitan area to boost economic growth and attract jobs across multiple sectors such as advanced manufacturing, technology, life sciences and financial services.

Toronto’s census metropolitan area accounted for 18.6 per cent of Canada’s GDP at basic prices in 2013, the latest year for which Statistics Canada has such data. Mr. Cohon described Toronto Global as a “concierge service” to both advise interested companies and attract new partners to set up business in the region.


Written by Randy McDonald

February 3, 2017 at 9:30 pm

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