Political Science, Department of

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The Wine Industry in British Columbia: A Closed Wine But Showing Potential

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The analysis in this report is structured around a theoretical framework I have developed for the larger comparative project- that industry competitiveness depends on policies that guide: markets, institutions, networks, and supply chains. We apply the framework to the British Columbia (BC) Canada wine industry, with an emphasis on the area with the greatest concentration, the Okanagan Valley (OKV). Our approach focuses on the potential role of public and collective support institutions to promote industry competitiveness in clusters. By clusters, we mean geographically concentrated producers in the same industry. I take an evolutionary view of the role of such institutions, reflecting my recent work that a successful public-private partnership requires continual adaptation to changes in markets (Hira, forthcoming). I therefore completely reject the false dichotomy that prevails that either markets (private companies) or states (governments) determine economic success. Productive public-private interactions are fundamental to successful industries. The analysis in this report strongly reinforces this point- to be successful BC needed and will need public-private partnerships that are responsive, flexible, and pro-active.

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