Global Expansion Insights: Canada

In their global search for new customers, suppliers and talent, ambitious firms are familiar with the risk/reward trade off. So when a low risk, high opportunity market opens up, things get very interesting.

The uncertainties around the UK’s relationship with the EU post-2019 and the election of a very different kind of president in the US, makes for ‘interesting times’ in two of the world’s largest trading blocs. These two historic events have led to a surge in interest in Canada as a potential business location.

Canada now occupies a unique position in global business, having a free trade deal with both the USA and the EU (following the CETA deal which has now been signed by the European Parliament), positioning the country as a bridge into both North American and European markets. The likelihood is that an early post-Brexit trade deal between UK and Canada adds to the lure of booming cosmopolitan cities like Toronto and Ottawa.

Market access and a determination to get rid of trade barriers and tariffs is only one reason why Canada is getting so much attention. With global startups and fast-growing technology companies trying to find the best talent pipeline, many savvy players are looking to Canada. With one of the highest proportion of degree-level educated people in the world, world-class universities and a refreshingly open door policy when it comes to skilled migration – this is an untapped talent hotspot.

Take a look at any emerging sector and you’ll find innovative Canadian businesses leading the way – from Driverless Cars to Wearable Technology. You’ll find transformational companies like Thalmic Labs, who are pioneering gesture-controlled prosthetics; and BlackBerry QNX, who are developing new software platforms for autonomous vehicles. These businesses are encouraged by low corporate taxes, advantageous R&D tax credits and a supportive infrastructure of federal, provincial and municipal agencies who are active both at home and abroad to promote trade and investment.

So if you’re an expanding business looking for the optimum location, or an economic development agency trying to attract the next big thing; you’d be wise to check out Canada.

Adam Breeze is an international business specialist who has helped several UK/European firms to setup in Canada – he will be on hand at the Global Expansion Summit in London in June to advise businesses on their options and can outline what support is available.