526 words | 3 minutes
The Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA) is an organization with a unique approach that is paying off in spades. It brings together 14 of Canada’s largest municipal regions to work together, instead of competing, to attract international companies to their collective strength to build a sustainable and globally competitive national economy based upon the collective strength of each member’s ecosystem.
Overseeing the CCCA is a big job, and Niloo Boroun is just the person to do it.
As its Executive Director, Boroun manages the alliance’s significant business interests and balances the diverse economic areas that, together, are its engine.
On the latest episode of Invested in Our New Reality, host Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh sat down with Boroun to discuss the organization’s role in supporting the cities it represents and attracting global businesses to Canada.
“The CCCA is a network of investment promotion agencies from coast to coast,” says Boroun. “We work closely with our national partners and our international network, such as the global affairs network, to make Canada the most preferred location for investment.”
The CCCA has a cross-country presence with member cities that represent the full gamut of economic sectors. Alliance cities include Vancouver, BC; Surrey, BC; Edmonton, AB; Calgary, AB; Winnipeg, MB; Hamilton, ON; London, ON; Waterloo, ON; Toronto, ON; Ottawa, ON; Niagara, ON; Montreal, QC; Quebec, QC; and Halifax, NS.
An utterly novel organization, the CCCA is peerless around the world. All cities, everywhere, are competing with one another for investment. This organization, now 10 years old, saw the potential in joining together to promote Canada as a national jurisdiction, and an ideal place for investment and trade.
“Canada as a whole continues to be very, very competitive,” Boroun explains. “Although business leaders are relatively less confident about the outlook for the global economy because of the pandemic, they remain highly optimistic towards Canada’s economic prospects.”
In 2020, CCCA grew from 12 to 14 members and was responsible for nearly 250 investment projects that, combined, created 25,000 jobs and added an investment value of $6 billion to the Canadian economy.
It was no surprise when Canada secured the number two spot on the Kearney FDI Confidence Index — an annual survey of global business executives that ranks the markets likely to attract the most investment in the next three years.
“Canada has a great reputation worldwide as a really safe, prosperous place to live, work, play,” says Boroun. “But I would say our number one competitor is talent, talent, talent, talent.”
A highly skilled workplace, exceptional post-secondary institutions, high graduation rates and progressive immigration policies all come together to make Canada an attractive place for companies looking to expand that need smart, skilled employees on their teams.
Another plus? Canadian businesses can access over 50 global markets through established free trade agreements.
“If you are a company that wants to, let’s say, service the US market, but doesn’t want to incur the costs of being in the US or can’t find the talent, you can base yourself in Canada, hire local talent here and still be able to service the US market through our free trade agreements,” she explains. “It’s a wholesome approach.”