In the years ahead, more Canadians may find themselves working for corporations headquartered in Shanghai, Mumbai, or Sao Paulo, and more Canadian companies may find themselves takeover targets by corporations based in the South.
There will be far fewer incentives to participate in future industries if Canada continues pushing crude.
Before long it will have a bigger economy than Canada and a younger and increasingly educated workforce to go with it.
The real action will be in the developing world, since Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Canada are aging.
Canada urgently needs a 21st century economic strategy that goes beyond natural resources and focuses much more on building a high-value, knowledge-based economy that can compete, says Crane.
The world can get by without Canada's oil or coal. But it will need our food. And as climate change proves increasingly disruptive for the world's agricultural production, there will be increasing challenges in providing the food the world needs. As it is, roughly one billion people today, or almost 15 per cent of the world's population, go hungry.
In considering the ways in which Canada's foreign policy can contribute to a better world, we shouldn't simply focus on big-ticket initiatives that grab headlines. Often we can make important contributions through actions which cost little but have high payoffs.
There is a new tone in Canadian foreign policy—it is more belligerent and hard-edged, more about seizing the podium, more boastful, and self-centred. The message seems clear: Canada is no more the honest broker, the conciliator, the constructive solution-seeker or problem-solver. We are too small to be a bully but we can be a blocker.
With Prime Minister Stephen Harper expected to visit China in November, there is at last a recognition that China, indeed all of Asia, needs to be a much higher priority when we think about Canada's future in a fast-changing world.
With consumer confidence weakening, the US and the Eurozone fumbling with serious budget and debt problems, and the outlook for the next several years one of weak economic growth and job creation, the world needs some bold steps to restore confidence in the future.