Assessing Canada’s changing trade landscape can help uncover new international business opportunities.
According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 ranking, Canada is the second best place in the world for starting a business, and let’s face it – the reasons are quite clear.
Beyond the federal government’s plan to advance trade, Canada is located next to one of the world’s largest economies and has access to Pacific and Atlantic ports that provide valuable entry into international markets. Canada’s multicultural population also shapes a vibrant and refined group of consumers, which are particularly attractive to American businesses.
“The key to Canadian entrepreneurship and small business growth is continued trade facilitation.”
Yet, in an age of advanced technology and increasingly complex supply chains, the key to Canadian entrepreneurship and small business growth is continued trade facilitation.
Simplifying the movement of goods and services across borders may not sound like the most exciting endeavor, but in my experience, cumbersome customs processes and red tape will often deter smaller businesses on both sides of the border from going global.
The Canadian government’s international trade agenda is ambitious and positions Canada as the next global trading hub. Even with political headwinds surrounding global trade, now is the perfect time to highlight Canada as one of the best places for foreign trade and investment.
A booming North American market
For the past 23 years, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has paved the way for outward-looking and ambitious Canadian businesses, keen to venture beyond the Canadian border. In 2015, NAFTA partners represented 28 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and trilaterally traded $1 trillion in merchandise.
Thanks to this increased cooperation, exporters and importers in Canada have successfully interconnected their supply chains with those in the U.S. and Mexico.
As the U.S., Mexican and Canadian governments engage with key stakeholders on the future of NAFTA, Canadian officials will seek an agreement that allows businesses to remain competitive within the North American commercial space.
With the potential to modernize customs processes, align certain regulatory practices and invest in infrastructure to support trade, the renegotiation of NAFTA offers an exciting opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises that are highly dependent on e-commerce.
The Canada of tomorrow
Canada is focused on generating new export opportunities for its businesses, increasing access to goods from all corners of the world and strengthening the global framework of international commerce through new and renewed trade agreements.
“Canada is focused on generating new export opportunities for its businesses.”
For example, the recent agreement between Canada and the European Union, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), will give small businesses the leverage they need to scale up and compete internationally.
CETA reduces tariffs on trade between Canada and the EU, makes it easier for Canadian and EU businesses to sell their goods in each market and facilitates the movement of professionals between both markets.
China presents another opportunity. Facilitating trade between Canada and China not only helps Canadian companies exploring export opportunities within China, it fosters the efficient delivery of Canadian goods throughout the Chinese marketplace. As China transitions from a manufacturing to consumer-based economy, Canada will have endless opportunity to harness the potential of one of the world’s most exciting e-commerce markets.
If Canada maintains this ambitious international trade agenda, its economy will flourish for generations to come, encouraging international businesses to invest in the booming economy.
I can proudly say that UPS has operated in Canada for more than 42 years, witnessing first-hand the benefit of Canada’s evolving approach to international trade. Canada now has a unique opportunity to become the next global trading hub by strengthening its current trade relationships and building new ones.
As Canada approaches its 150th year since Confederation on July 1, now is the perfect time to celebrate past accomplishments – and future growth for Canadian consumers, businesses and international partners.
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