Investment and financial guru, Angus Watt stopped by the Fort to share his thoughts on the area and world growth.
He presented 'the world wants to grow' at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday (Mar.7).
Speaking on a global scale, Watt claimed the positive influential themes of 2018 included global growth, U.S. consumer confidence, low interest rates, new U.S. tax regime and artificial intelligence. The concerns were asset bubbles, regulate disrupters, wage increases, labour, market valuations, competition and infrastructure spending.
Watt hoped business personnel took home two things from his speech.
"Number one, globally is that we need to understand the world is growing and there is a demand for our products and what we're producing. But more importantly, I think as Albertans we have to stand up and acknowledge the fact we are in the oil and gas industry and we need to be proud of it," said Watt.
Alberta's employment spiked to a new high in December with 23,300 new jobs. The unemployment rate also fell to a 26-month low, at 6.9 per cent.
"We are a commodity province and we better stand up because otherwise nobody’s looking to invest in us today. Our own companies are looking to invest outside Alberta and Canada, versus investing inside and that’s absolutely wrong."
Watt claimed the Fort has more than 45 companies, 15 world-scale facilities, $12.5-billion in investment under construction (or operational) and $11.5-billion in recently announced investment.
Right now, the Fort is the fourth fastest growing municipality in Alberta, with the average household income of $118,000. The overall population is expected to surpass 31,000 by 2020.
Watt believes the Fort is in a good spot and the above statistics are encouraging.