Cana­dian com­pa­nies to look beyond U.S.

The Miracle - - Politics - Source:

com­pa­nies about over­seas mar­kets and di­rect­ing busi­nesses to gov­ern­ment ser­vices de­signed to help them take ad­van­tage of nu­mer­ous trade deals Canada has struck in re­cent years.“(Carr)’s the one who’s go­ing to open the door and I’m here to help our com­pa­nies, our SMEs, walk through that door,” she said. The treaties in­clude re­cent agree­ments with the Pa­cific Rim -- known as the Com­pre­hen­sive and Pro­gres­sive Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship or CPTPP -- and Canada’s free-trade deal with the Euro­pean Union, also known as CETA. The Asia-Pa­cific and EU deals will open up ac­cess to a bil­lion po­ten­tial cus­tomers, but get­ting small busi­nesses to ex­plore those mar­kets won’t be easy. Only about 11 or 12 per cent of smaller Cana­dian firms are cur­rently ex­port­ing their goods or ser­vices abroad, she said.\ “We have a low num­ber of SMEs that are ex­port­ing right now,” said Ng, who worked in Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s of­fice be­fore win­ning a 2017 by­elec­tion. “We need to do bet­ter.” She said she knows from her own ex­peri- ence that small busi­ness own­ers are of­ten too busy run­ning their day-to-day op­er­a­tions to fig­ure out how to get ac­cess to a new, far­away mar­ket. Ng grew up in a small, fam­ily busi­ness and, later on in her ca­reer, said she worked with star­tups and small com­pa­nies. Lib­eral and Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ments have made con­sid­er­able ef­forts in re­cent years to get more of Canada’s small- and medi­um­sized com­pa­nies to pur­sue new op­por­tu­ni­ties out­side North Amer­ica. Con­ser­va­tive MP Blake Richards, the par­lia­men­tary critic for small busi­ness, ex­port pro­mo­tion and tourism, said it’s “laud­able” the gov­ern­ment’s made ex­port pro­mo­tion clear cabi­net re­spon­si­bil­ity. But he ar­gued the fed­eral Lib­er­als have, at the same time, made it more difficult for small busi­nesses to ex­plore for­eign mar­kets be­cause of com­pet­i­tive­ness chal­lenges at home -- from reg­u­la­tions to the tax bur­den. Richards pointed to the fed­eral car­bon tax as an ex­am­ple. “It’s great to say we want to help give this op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote our­selves, but the other ac­tions you’re see­ing don’t match up with that,” Richards said.

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