Jennifer Jeffs, Senior Vice President, Canadian International Council and CIGI Deputy Executive Director and Senior Fellow
The opening sessions of the private sector forum are stressing the need for public-private partnerships as key to creating the long-term sustainable investment opportunities needed to attract the FDI that will promote growth. These partnerships will be more effective and have greater impact if they can manage in a systematic rather than piecemeal manner.
The challenge of creating and managing public-private initiatives is an area where fresh and innovative ideas are needed to create models sufficiently flexible to be applied to diverse areas, from healthcare to cottage industries to energy.
Joe Clark, who signed Canada into the OAS 20 years ago stressed that the current economic crisis offers an opportunity to re-examine traditional political and economic assumptions as much as pervasive social ones, stressing the issue of trust. The countries of the hemisphere would be well served to act upon the strong trust engendered by NGOs to create circumstances that enable them to do their good work. One immediately thinks of security and the rule of law, areas where Canada has much to contribute.