Stephens: What is Canada's biggest international opportunity in 2012?
Distinguished fellow, Asia Pacific
Foundation of Canada
Hilary Clinton has called the 21st century "America's Pacific Century". She notes that "harnessing Asia's growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority.... Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology. Our economic recovery at home will depend on exports and the ability of American firms to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia." What is true for the US is just as true for Canada and although we may not share the strategic objectives of the US militarily, we certainly share its strategic interests. It is not me-too'ism for Canada to also embrace the reality of the rising role of Asia Pacific and its impact on our future. Whether it is investment in the oil sands, attracting skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants, developing new and alternative markets, or expanding opportunities for our financial services and other industries, the action lies west over the Pacific. 2012 provides us the opportunity to get back in the ring and start punching.