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British Columbia looking abroad for economic help in the post-pandemic era

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The government of British Columbia has appointed world-renowned professor Mariana Mazzucato to help advise on post-pandemic economic decision making.

The University College London economist and her team at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose will advise the province as it develops its economic plan.

The province will also be seeking input from B.C. business groups, labour, Indigenous nations, post-secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations, local governments and the public on the plan.

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“When you are competing against the world you want to learn from other people’s experiences,” Economic Recovery Minister Ravi Kahlon said.

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“I know professor Mazzucato comes with a wealth of experience working with other jurisdictions all over the world. What I like a lot about her is she is always trying to learn.”

Mazzucato is the author of three highly acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy and the newly-released Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism.

She lives in London and has received an honourary doctorate from Simon Fraser University.

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The economic plan is expected to be released this fall.

Kahlon will lead the public and stakeholder engagement over the summer.

The plan will focus not just on COVID-19 but beyond the pandemic. It will include a focus on traditional areas of B.C.’s strength including mining, forestry and tourism while looking at other areas of growth.

“Governments have a critical role to play in shaping markets, not just fixing market failures,” Mazzucato said.

“Responding after a failure has occurred is, by definition, too late and often carries a high financial and human cost, as we have seen with COVID-19 and the 2008 financial crisis.

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“As the Province of B.C. advances its economic recovery agenda, it has the opportunity to shape a different kind of economy — one that is sustainable, inclusive, resilient and oriented around solving problems that matter to people and planet.”

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