As Dr Andersen points out at the very start of this month’s report, Canada has stumbled recently in its post-GFC economic recovery. Many economic indicators show slowing growth across the country, a trend he attributes in part to Canada’s narrow export focus.
Canada’s share of the world export market has halved over the last decade primarily, Andersen says, because of our narrow trading focus with the US, currently our primary partner with 75% of our exports. To succeed in a global economy requires a diversity of trading partners. According to Deloitte’s report, The Future of Productivity 2012, Chile, for example, has 52 free trade agreements while Canada has only ten.
The Canadian government is putting some effort into expanding Canada’s export options. Trade Minister Ed Fast is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union; however, this process is slow and won’t provide a near-term solution to Canada’s lacklustre growth. In the meantime, slight improvements in export demand, as driven by the upturn in US demand for auto and housing products, may help to sustain the Canadian export sector.
This month’s Andersen Report provides insights to help members grow their businesses in spite of the surrounding economic environment; because challenges can be a great way to spark innovative, out-of-the-box thinking, and to provide opportunities that may not be present in a booming market.
- EU trade minister heading to Canada, free trade deal close to completion
- Canada must open up markets to clinch bilateral trade deal: EU