Saturday, 24 April 2010

Demograhic changes means trouble for Canada

At a recent political event in Montreal, Rick Miner, the former president of Seneca College, served up some painful truths ... "Canada has two major trends emerging," he said. "First, an ageing population. And second, the movement from a labour to a knowledge economy."

Over the next several years, the great population bulge (the 'Baby Boomers') will pass retirement age and even if, as seems likely, they stay on longer than workers in the past, the labour force will lose a huge number of bodies. At the same time, the demand for skilled and adaptable labour will continue to rise rapidly, and projections show Canada's education and training systems won't keep up.
Combine those two massive forces and we are likely to find ourselves in a uniquely awful situation: High unemployment rates and severe labour shortages at the same time.

There's still time to avoid a future in which there are "millions of people without jobs and millions of jobs without people," Miner said. But it's dwindling rapidly. A big push on education and training is needed right away.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

India needs to modernise capital good sector

Corporate India has sought an allocation of Rs 1,500 crore for modernising the capital goods sector and developing industrial parks to reduce India’s dependence on imports.

“The capital goods sector needs a modernisation fund of Rs 500 crore and another Rs 1,000 crore for developing capital goods parks in the country,” the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) said in a paper.

The development of such parks is required to overcome the infrastructure deficiencies faced by Indian capital goods sector, said Ficci.

Capital goods imports in India have increased by over five times in the last six years from $6.5 billion in 2003-04 to $30 billion in 2008-09.

Ficci said the parks would ensure timely delivery of components and standardisation of manufacturing processes. They would also improve productivity and thereby help the sector become cost effective and competitive.

The proposed fund should be used for productivity enhancement through technology transfer, support to research and development projects, climate change, common facility centres and market development support, it added.

“The primary reason for lower productivity of the capital goods sector is the lack of latest technology,” it said.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Predictable Supply - Innovative software

Only very occasionally do I refer to specific products or systems ... when I see something which I think is innovative. Here is one such product.

TraceLink’s Predictable Supply Suite establishes a supply chain management and outsourced contract manufacturing solution for integrating companies, their partners and the resultant virtual teams across inter-company business processes. This supply management solution enables virtual teams to create a secure business cloud that can execute any business process with any partner at any time and using any information.

This approach eliminates the need for costly portals and fragile b2b links when connecting to virtual supply network partners. Individuals and companies can decide the appropriate level of cross-company connection. For companies looking to tightly collaborate with an entire, hard-to-reach network ecosystem, the Predictable Supply Suite offers a unique "integrate-once, inter-operate with everyone" approach to connection.

For more, see

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Malaysia to attact more investment?

Malaysia is poised to attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs) when higher skills and productivity set in through the New Economic Model (NEM), two government leaders said in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s comments in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Najib is scheduled to unveil a number of administrative reforms when he introduces the NEM next week to emphasise the execution of the model to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy and spur greater economic development.

Economic bureau member Datuk Dr Norraesah Mohamad said the country needed the NEM to break out of the “middle-income trap”.

“NEM’s greater focus on climbing up the economic value chain, attracting and retaining talent, as well as emphasis on innovation will definitely drive more investments into Malay­sia.

“This is our wake-up call. With stiff competition for FDIs from our neighbours and the world’s focus on the larger Asian economies of China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia, Malaysia faces challenges in not just attracting FDIs but also in attracting talent to our shores,” she said.

The NEM, she said, would address that imbalance.

The Government approved 766 manufacturing investments worth RM32.6bil last year, of which foreign investments accounted for 67.8% or RM22.1bil.