Letters: Intellectual capital our most valuable resource

I would like to comment on Barrie Robinson’s article “Only in Canada – pity” (Feb. 8, page 30).

Barrie is quite right that we, as a people, buy far fewer Canadian-made products than we could. At the same time, Canada has become very good at manufacturing “intellectual” products and services -such as software and technology services – which we sell very well indeed to our biggest market, the United States.

Ninety per cent of the trade that the United States does is with Canada. While it may be a popular belief that the largest trading partners of the U.S. are Japan, Germany and the U.K. (they’re the most visible), the fact is that it’s Canada that gets the gold, and by far. And when it comes to the world of IT, we are more successful at selling our skills, services and software to the U.S. than anyone else in the world.

Our intellectual capital is worth much more than the manufacturing centres, warehouses, pollution and cheap jobs that come with making coffee pots and tennis shoes over there. In my opinion, we should be well past the “manufacturing” stage of our economic development, and we should now focus even more on the continued development (and marketing) of our greatest and most renewable asset, our intellectual capital.

John E. Fever, chief methodologist, PowerPlus Systems Corp.