Message from the Chair & CEO
Representing the region’s most powerful mix of businesses, our Vision is to make Toronto one of the most competitive and sought after business regions in the world. Internally, we call the strategic approach that enables this Vision, ‘the three Ts.’ It’s a reference to the intertwined pillars of Trade, Transportation and Talent that will underpin our City’s global prosperity and broaden the reach and growth of our businesses. These ‘three Ts’ are cornerstones in our Mission to be a catalyst for a vibrant, globally competitive Toronto region business community and our thousands of members.
The Toronto Region Board of Trade plays a pivotal role in bringing diverse stakeholders together to understand the business needs of our growing city-region, unearth barriers to success, and, more importantly, to facilitate solutions. In no place is that role more evidenced than at our Policy Summits. For example, our Transportation Summit provided an important opportunity to talk about how to ensure the billions of dollars committed to infrastructure will be spent effectively and expediently. It also raised a new issue — whether we have the skilled and professional talent needed to build these projects. This will be a pillar of our advocacy over the coming year. Our Aviation Summit in February this year brought together a powerful mix of 250 executives, business leaders and government decision-makers to discuss the vital and under-recognized role of airports to our region’s economy. Throughout the year, these intensive, full-day Summits covered issues of transportation and aviation, economic strategy and job creation, smart cities, and global trade.
There has never been a better or more urgent time for Toronto region companies to tap into global export opportunities. We’re proud to be part of the compelling success stories emerging from our signature Trade Accelerator Program, TAP-GTA. This unique initiative is also enjoying rave reviews from major stakeholders in Canada’s export ecosystem and business associations across the country are seeking to participate. In the year ahead, with feedback from our members, we will look to carefully expand TAP into new geographic regions for the benefit of all prospective Canadian exporters. Our trade pillar will continue to advance through the revitalization of our World Trade Center partnership. Toronto’s WTC will incorporate TAP into its mandate and set in motion empirical sector and market research on which to base further global trade programming and support inbound and outbound trade missions.
We were pleased this past year to have many high-profile, provocative experts, including Mark Carney, Ed Clark, Jennifer Keesmaat, Anne-Marie Slaughter, His Worship John Tory and several government ministers. They spoke candidly at our Podium on the issues that affect our members, our economy and business growth. At every event, policy summit and meeting, all of us at the Board are reminded by our membership that the Toronto region is a fantastic place to start, run and grow a business. We are inspired by our businesses’ powerful capabilities and motivated by their increased capacities as they become more connected to their peers and influencers. We pledge to continue to support our businesses as they take the world-class city-region that is Toronto to the next level of global leadership.
We could not do what we do without the generous support of our Principal Sponsors, who remain dedicated to the success of our business community. We thank Rogers, Scotiabank, the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, and The Globe and Mail.
We are also grateful for the generous support and active participation of our special guests, members of all levels of government, sponsors, members, our Board of Directors and staff. We are excited to work with you in the year ahead.
Janet De Silva
President & CEO