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As the Metro Vancouver region emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and contends with the myriad economic impacts that have been laid bare by this pandemic, there are immediate opportunities to reorient the region's approach to economic development and to adapt its systems and processes for the challenges and possibilities that will arise as the region fast-transitions to a digital age economy.A new paper from Metro Vancouver's Regional Economic Prosperity Service provides high-level, strategic guidance to the region's public, private, economic development, education, non-profit, labour and philanthropic leaders to help position the region for success and to spur economic recovery, further economic resiliency and economic reinvention. "The transition to an innovation-driven digital economy, where ideas and intellectual property are more valuable than physical assets, is already underway," said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of Metro Vancouver's Board of Directors. "If we make the right moves today, play to our region's unique strengths and remove systemic barriers to investment relative to other global regions, we can ensure our region is a key player in the 21st century global economy, for the benefit of all who are fortunate to call this region home."The technical paper, Preparing Metro Vancouver for the Digital Economy, examines ways the region can overcome challenges and make the most of the opportunities presented by the digital age economy, where the velocity of job dislocation, due to automation and other forms of capital-labour substitution, has the potential to far outpace our ability to retrain and reabsorb this excess supply of labour without collective targeted interventions. The paper urges leaders to focus on four regional economic development strategies:Invest in our people to ensure that our labour markets and talent development systems reflect tomorrow's economy, not yesterday'sCatalyze our innovation and entrepreneurial capacities to strengthen existing industries and to create new ones that we don't even know about todayBuild capacity in globally competitive export-oriented industries in which the region has specialization and productive advantages over other economic regionsIncrease our global connectedness to open up new markets and to attract more strategic investment into our region"The rapidly changing economy requires us to rethink our economic development approach from a regional perspective," said Jerry Dobrovolny, Commissioner and CAO of Metro Vancouver. "This approach must be adaptive, responsive, and more reflective of where the economy is going, not where it sits today; or worse, where it sat yesterday."With the fast-paced transition to a digital age economy, a high number of jobs are at risk of some form of dislocation due to automation. Across Canada, 11 per cent of all workers are at a high-risk of seeing their jobs transformed through automation, including 27 per cent of workers in manufacturing. By preparing our region for the future, more initiatives and programs can be developed and deployed to grow capacity and to attract strategic investment in key segments of our economy such as clean transportation, health sciences and the green economy."We hope this technical paper will influence how people in the region think about economic development policy and programs, and cause them to recalibrate strategies," said Dobrovolny. "There is too much at stake if we don't manage this economic transition to a digital age economy right – we risk our region falling behind as more industries shrink, and we risk jeopardizing our quality of life."Collaborating with regional leaders from industry, First Nations, labour, government, non-profit organizations and education, the Regional Economic Prosperity Service exists to foster greater regional collaboration on economic development issues, to advise leaders on sound economic policy and strategy, and to brand the region and its key industries to a global audience with the goal of attracting strategic investment that generates long term economic benefits and a shared prosperity across the region.