Canada’s fisheries minister has wrapped up her first week of roundtable discussions with stakeholders on the development of Canada’s first Blue Economy Strategy.
The strategy is intended to position the country as a global leader in ocean-based economies that create middle-class jobs while pushing for healthier oceans and sustainable ocean industries.
“What we heard this week was that Canadians agree — our Blue Economy has so much potential for growth. We’re going to keep working with Indigenous peoples, industry, environmentalists and more to create a strategy that will ensure we’re sustainably harnessing our ocean resources to their full potential. Canadians want a thriving Blue Economy that is built on protection, production, prosperity, and that’s exactly what we’re striving toward,” Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Bernadette Jordan said.
Last week Jordan held nine roundtables with leaders in key sectors including the fisheries and aquaculture, academia and women leaders in ocean sectors.
Jordan said she heard about the importance of B.C.’s fisheries and coastal tourism from the Pacific region, the level of importance of having reliable, timely, and accessible data on the oceans from ocean scientists and professors and the need for collaboration between communities, First Nations and industry to produce a strategy that considers economic, social and environmental factors.
Topics leading Jordan’s public engagement include products and technologies to foster a sustainable commercial fishing industry, offshore renewable energy, transportation, sustainable tourism, international trade and new green technologies in ocean-related fields.
As the roundtable discussions continue, Jordan said engagement with Indigenous peoples will be critical in the strategy’s development, as they bring vast knowledge and valuable experience in their ancient, close relationship with the oceans.
Developing the strategy will be a major undertaking of multiple ministries, including transport, economic development, science and industry, Crown-Indigenous relations and international trade, among others.
Canadian dollar forecasts boosted as vaccine rollout accelerates: Reuters poll
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian dollar forecasts for the coming months have been raised by strategists, reflecting recent gains for the currency but also expectations commodity prices will benefit from the reopening of the global economy, a Reuters poll showed.
Canada is a major producer of commodities, including oil, which has soared about 80% since November, helped by supply cuts from major producers and the prospect of stronger global economic growth this year as COVID-19 vaccines roll out.
The United States expects to have enough vaccine for every American adult by the end of May. Canada‘s vaccination campaign is also ramping up after earlier supply disruptions. Its target for full rollout is September.
“I think the economy is going to open up quickly and oil prices are going to stay firm,” said Ronald Simpson, managing director, global currency analysis at Action Economics. “Rising activity in Canada is going to probably help the Canadian dollar as well.”
Canada‘s economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6% in the fourth quarter. It probably expanded again in January despite lockdowns in some provinces to contain the pandemic.
Evidence of economic resilience has raised speculation the Bank of Canada will reduce its bond purchases as soon as April. The central bank is due to make an interest rate decision on March 10.
The median forecast of nearly 40 analysts in the March 1-3 poll was for the Canadian dollar to edge 0.4% higher to 1.26 per U.S. dollar, or 79.37 U.S. cents, in three months, compared with a 1.27 forecast in February’s poll. It was then expected to advance to 1.25 in one year.
The loonie has rallied about 16% since last March, helped by declines for the safe-haven U.S. dollar. Last Thursday, it touched a three-year high at 1.2464 but has since been buffeted by global market volatility as bond yields surged.
For some analysts, the loonie’s move higher was too far, too fast. That could leave it vulnerable to a pullback in the near term even if the longer-term outlook remains bright.
“While we maintain our cautiously bullish view on the Canadian dollar over the coming twelve months, headwinds to this view over the next quarter are plentiful,” analysts at Monex Europe and Monex Canada, including Simon Harvey, said in a note.
Potential headwinds include an earlier timeline for OPEC to raise output, the analysts said.
(For other stories from the March Reuters foreign exchange poll:)
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; polling by Swathi Nair and Nagamani Lingappa; editing by Larry King)
South Korea economy shrank in 2020 for 1st time in 22 years – Yahoo Canada Finance
SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — South Korea’s central bank says the country’s economy shrank for the first time in 22 years in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic destroyed service industry jobs and depressed consumer spending.
Preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea on Thursday showed the country’s gross domestic product last year contracted 1% from 2019. It was the first annual contraction since 1998, when South Korea was in the midst of a crippling financial crisis.
The economy would have been even worse if not for the country’s technology exports, which saw increased demand driven by personal computers and servers as the pandemic forced millions around the world to work at home.
The bank expects South Korea’s economy to manage a modest recovery this year driven by exports. But it says it would take a longer time for the job market to recover from the damage to services industries such as restaurants and transportation.
The bank since March last year has maintained its policy rate at an all-time low of 0.5% to help pump money into the economy. But experts say traditional financial tools aimed at lowering borrowing costs have had only limited effect during the pandemic that has damaged both supply and demand.
The country reported another new 424 cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its national caseload to 91,240, including 1,619 deaths.
The Associated Press
Canadian dollar clings to this week’s gains as oil climbs
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar was little changed against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, holding on to this week’s gains as oil prices rose and domestic data showed the value of building permits scaling a record high in January.
The loonie was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2629 to the greenback, or 79.18 U.S. cents. Since the start of the week, it has advanced 0.9%.
Canada‘s “strong” GDP data and the rally in oil prices have helped underpin the Canadian dollar, said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, settled 2.6% higher at $61.28 a barrel, boosted by a huge drop in U.S. fuel inventories and expectations that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output when they meet this week.
Canadian building permits rose 8.2% in January from December to C$9.9 billion, surpassing the previous record set in April 2019, Statistics Canada said.
On Tuesday, data showed that Canada‘s economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6% in the fourth quarter and likely rose again in January, boosting speculation the Bank of Canada will reduce its bond purchases soon.
The central bank is due to make an interest rate decision next Wednesday.
A break of 1.2587 would add “to positive CAD momentum,” while the currency could find buyers at 1.2655, Davis said.
The U.S. dollar rose against a basket of major currencies as investors priced for strong U.S. growth relative to other regions.
Canadian government bond yields were higher across a steeper curve in tandem with U.S. Treasury yields. The 10-year rose 7.6 basis points to 1.401% but was trading well below Friday’s 13-month high at 1.501%.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)
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