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0711 Stampede Investment Forum recap

Lower taxes, less red tape, and more opportunities for companies to grow reinforced the “Open for Business” message to global investors at Stampede Investment Forum 2019.

The three-day forum focused on how innovative companies in Calgary and across Alberta are feeding, moving, powering and healing the world and how investment opportunities are emerging in the transformation of our major industrial sectors – agribusiness, transportation and logistics, energy, and health and life sciences.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney delivered one of his first major speeches to an investment audience since the United Conservative Party was elected as the Alberta government this spring and spoke at length about the pro-business agenda.

There was record participation with close to 100 delegates at the seventh annual forum that is held in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede. Delegates get direct access to industry leaders and senior government officials as well as insight into investment opportunities. They also get to experience firsthand the rich Indigenous culture of our region and Calgary’s world-famous Western hospitality at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

This year’s investment forum was co-hosted by Calgary Economic Development, the Government of Alberta, Edmonton Global and Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association.

Omar Alghabra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, announced additional funding for the CanExport programs and lauded the work of provincial and municipal economic development agencies and local businesses in strengthening Canada’s economy.

“There are incredible opportunities for this city and this province in the transformation of business worldwide and a commitment by all orders of government to create a business-friendly environment is a vital message that we must be able to send to the global investment community,” said Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer for Calgary Economic Development.

The forum agenda aligns with the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy and the vision that Calgary is the city of choice in Canada for entrepreneurs to embrace innovation to produce cleaner energy, safe and secure food, better health solutions and safer transport of people and goods.

The competitive business environment Premier Kenney promoted is also a key element of the economic strategy for Calgary.

It is a sign of the times that the forum kicked off with a panel devoted specifically to the digital transformation disrupting all industries. Other sessions examined the future of bellwether industries including energy and agribusiness as they embrace innovation and the rapid growth in subsectors such as cannabis and hemp, and autonomous systems.

Calgary Economic Development released a study this spring that forecasts spending on digital transformation of industry in Alberta will be more than $18.4 billion through 2022 and will be spread across all sectors of the economy.

Digital transformation is disrupting industry and creating business opportunities with the adoption of technology and innovation. The future for companies in every sector will be driven in large measure by their adoption of new technologies including; machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual augmented reality (AR/VR), Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain.

In the new world order of economic disruption, Calgary is a city open to new ideas, open to doing things better on a global scale and open for business.

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