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Can We Catch Up With Angola?

This was the title of a talk by Madelaine Droha, Canada correspondent for The Economist in January 2013 at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. A provocative title for sure given that she was addressing a Canadian audience. Curiously enough this event on a mostly economic topic was co-sponsored by the LRC (Literary Review of Canada) and CIC (Canadian International Council).

Behind the provocative title the topic was about lessons Canada should learn from other global resource economies, in particular using sovereign wealth funds to create a development fund for the future.

Around the world wealthy countries like Norway as well as developing countries like Timor and indeed Angola have been putting at least part of revenues from non-renewable natural resources such as oil, gas, timber and mining products into a sovereign fund, whose investments yields would be used for preparing for a future without such resources.

Canadian governments have largely balked at saving such revenues and are “Spending like There’s No Tomorrow”, which is the title of the essay Ms. Drohan wrote for the Literary Review of Canada in January/February 2013 issue. The essay is based on her recently published CIC report “9 Habits of Successful Resource Economies”.  The report is available in print form and also electronically from CIC’s web site. It provides an interesting new perspective on Canada’s economy and the future.

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