December 2019 - January 2020 Best Cities for Work in B.C.

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1184822

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Page 54 of 71

Because Canada is governed by law, it had no choice but to act on the U.S. extradition request, Finlayson says. "It may change based on what President Trump thinks when he gets out of bed tomorrow," he adds. "That's what will rescue us from this, is if the U.S. drops their request." For Canada, the key issue is deglobalization, Finlayson says, noting that political forces could keep driving a decline in inter- national trade. If the U.S. and China are competing for supremacy, too, Canada has no option but to ally with its North American neigh- bour, he notes. "I think the world's moving to global-regional eco- nomic blocs, and the global multilateral trade system is decaying or even collapsing," Finlayson observes. That puts a small country like Canada that wants to be a multilateral player in a tough spot. "We have no control over what's going to happen, let alone B.C." Mainland China is the province's second-largest trading partner after the U.S., accounting for 14.5 percent of our exports in 2018, according to BC Stats. Litwin worries that the provincial economy "could get ground to a fine powder" amid conflict between the two countries. "We've got to find a way to do business with them," Finlayson says. "But abandon the notion we're going to have some special partnership or free trade with China." Be resilient—and ready Asked what mindset B.C. businesses should adopt for 2020, Molenaar says HSBC encourages its clients to think globally by looking at Europe and Asia. "We find when they go into those mar- kets as well, their growth is as strong as or stronger than in the U.S." McGuinness sees value in broadcasting the made-in-Canada brand. "We've had clients that have been very successful, they do make the jump going into Asia just by having that on their label." With worldwide economic turbulence on the horizon, Finlayson calls for businesses to practise "resilience in the enterprise context of managing your balance sheet carefully," perhaps by pulling back from major commitments. One of his worries is cheap credit. With companies and households making decisions on the assumption that low interest rates will last forever, Finlayson expects a painful readjustment if they return to normal historical levels. But in 2020, money will get even cheaper, he predicts. On that note, now is the time for governments to build infra- structure, Yu says. Meanwhile, businesses could seize the opportu- nity to make capital investments that lower the wage share of their costs, he suggests. "Long-term, our view is that wages are going to go up significantly as we still have those labour shortages." The BC Chamber's Litwin thinks 2020 could be a year of readiness as well as resiliency for small and medium-sized com- panies: "You have to have a people plan because of the labour shortage, and you have to have a climate plan." Lacking the resources and capital reserves of their larger counterparts, SMEs take longer to pivot, Litwin notes. "So entrepreneurs need to start having these conversations internally with their teams to prepare for the future." ■ BCBUSINESS.CA DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020 BCBUSINESS 55 Speaking Topics ■ Doing Business in Tough Times ■ 7 Principles for Modern Leaders ■ Runway of Life: Take Charge and Live Your Dreams ■ The Power of a Dream ■ 16 High Performance Sales Habits ■ Character and Integrity – The Key Attributes to Success ■ 27 Success Habits of Highly Successful People Contact Charie Ilon to see if your event date is available 604.473.0332 • info@peterlegge.com www.peterlegge.com Peter O.B.C. CSP, CPAF, HoF SPEAKER I AUTHOR I CEO PHILANTHROPIST Legge Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker and Author "The very best speaker we have ever had." Christy Murphy Senior Executive for Cactus Club Restaurants P E T E R L E G G E Your dream is still possible By the bestselling author of the power to soar higher The power of a dream PeterLeggeAd_BCB_1_2.indd 1 11/6/19 8:57 AM

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