Business owners will be able to attend a town hall on how Toronto can help business. Thanks to the Globe & Mail for sponsoring the Sept 9th discussion with the 6 mayor candidates.
The economy has changed business as usual approach by government from city to country levels and encouraging a return to government involvement from puppet master to financial supporters of business.
Four main forces are driving this revival of industrial policy.
First is the weak state of the world economy. Governments are under pressure to reduce unemployment and stimulate growth: support for chosen industries is a way of saving jobs and helping local firms fight foreign competitors.
Second, some countries, such as America and Britain, want to rebalance their economies away from finance and property. Along with older manufacturing, clean technology is emerging as a favourite direction. Nearly every large economy has plans to win global market share and create green jobs.
Third, emergency use of industrial-policy tools leads to demands for more. Mr Obama has responded to complaints that only big companies such as General Motors and AIG, an insurer, have enjoyed the state’s largesse by setting up a $30 billion small-business lending fund.
Fourth, rich countries are responding to the apparently successful policies of fast-growing economies, notably China and South Korea.
Industrial policy remains controversial. Defined as the attempt by government to promote the growth of particular industrial sectors and companies, there have been successes, but also many expensive failures. Policy may be designed to support or restructure old, struggling sectors, such as steel or textiles, or to try to construct new industries, such as robotics or nanotechnology.