APF Canada releases new National Opinion Poll . . .
The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada today released its National Opinion Poll on Canadian views on human capital from Asia, the second in its two-part survey series for 2019. APF Canada’s June poll on Canadian views on high-tech investment from Asia showed that Canadians see Asia as a future leader in innovation and technology, but they were nonetheless more likely to oppose than support Asian FDI, in contrast to global FDI. Investments in artificial intelligence and telecommunications drew the most opposition, driven by concerns about cybersecurity and increased foreign competition. Today’s poll on human capital touches upon a different kind of transfer, and gauges Canadians’ interest in taking advantage of Asian talent despite rising Canada-China tensions.
Human capital from Asia seen more positively than FDI . . .
In Canada, rapid technological development and an aging workforce have led to a shortage of 500,000 skilled workers, threatening Canada’s global competitiveness. APF Canada’s latest NOP reveals that 56 per cent of Canadians are aware of that fact, and 66 per cent would accept having more skilled talent from Asia. Asia’s large investments in research and education have created a massive young and skilled workforce. While Canadians share similar concerns about Asian human capital immigration as they do for Asian FDI, this time the benefits outweigh the concerns.
Canadians show lower enthusiasm to Chinese talent . . .
Canadians show the highest support for talent from the EU (75%) and the U.S. (71%). In the context of Asia, they support the immigration of talent from South Korea (67%), the Philippines (64%), India (64%), and China (56%). The low support for China is not a surprise considering the negative press around the Huawei crisis and ongoing Canada-China tensions. Over half of Canadians still support Chinese immigration, and the poll finds that Canadians place more emphasis on the individual’s skills and education than on their country of origin. Finally, Canadians support a range of policies favouring the immigration of Asian talent, including a policy encouraging university students to gain experience in Canada (71%). But it remains to be seen how Canada will craft its immigration policy before the opportunity to seize Asian talent vanishes, as this pool of human capital is absorbed by the fast-developing economies of the region.
- CIC News: More than 500,000 jobs went unfilled across Canada in first three months of 2019
- Canadian Bureau for International Education: International students in Canada
- APF Canada: 2019 National Opinion Poll: Canadian Views on High-tech Investment from Asia