There is a certain irony in the fact that while Canada and the United States enjoy a largely unfettered trading relationship, the same can’t be said about the provinces and territories that comprise Canada itself. The New West Partnership Trade Agreement, a deal between the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan that came into effect on July 1, 2010, is an effort to rectify that situation. By the time it’s fully implemented in July of 2013, it will have created a barrier-free trade and investment market of more than nine million people who collectively generate more than $500 billion in combined GDP.
Under the NWPTA, the three provincial governments have agreed to a variety of business-friendly measures including the streamlining of business registration and reporting requirements, the elimination of residency requirements and the lowering of thresholds for open and non-discriminatory government procurement. In addition to reducing the costs associated with doing business across provincial lines – companies, for example, will be able to open offices in another province without the burden of dealing with a whole other set of forms and fees – the recognition of professional designations and qualifications will make it easier to attract skilled talent.
In recognition of this important development, Alberta Venture decided to expand the scope of its annual Best Communities for Business feature. This year, we’re highlighting the 25 Best Communities for Business in Western Canada. Did your community make the list? Is there a community out there that’s a better fit for your business’s needs?