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According to Statistics Canada, Alberta businesses are facing the highest increase in competition in Canada – including a dramatic increase in the share of businesses facing competition from large multinationals. And according to the data, they could be doing more to remain competitive.

The 2012 Survey of Innovation and Business Strategy asked  about a variety of the environmental factors affecting businesses across Canada, and found that in 2012 half (50.2%) of Canadian firms were competing against a multinational enterprise in the main market for their highest selling product or service. Alberta had the highest share of firms facing multinational competition, at 57.4%, just barely ahead of Ontario at 56.7%. What’s most surprising is Alberta’s incredible rise in multinational competition since 2009:

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And it’s not just multinationals – Alberta also had the highest share of businesses reporting that in 2012 any new competitor (including multinationals) had entered their main market:

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So Alberta has become a more competitive place to do business, and increasingly local firms are competing with multinational corporations who tend to be large and have access to potentially lower-cost global supply chains. To compete in this environment, Alberta firms should be looking to continuously improve their processes – but the majority aren’t. According to the survey, only 34.5% of businesses in Alberta have a systematic process in place to resolve problems with production of goods or delivery of services. This is actually the second-highest share in Canada, but we’re lagging far behind Ontario.

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For more information, see Statistics Canada’s The Daily.

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