Doing Business In Canada

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British High Commissioner to Canada, Howard Ronald Drake, Foreword

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Howard Drake
Howard Ronald Drake, British High Commissioner to Canada

Canada and the UK have a long-standing, mutually beneficial and expanding trade and investment relationship. Both countries invest around $122 billion in each other's economies, and last year two-way trade was C$27 billion, from C$21 billion in 2009: an increase of 27% from three years prior.

The strength of the relationship is rooted in our history, and our common language, institutions and business culture. This makes Canada an attractive first market for those British companies unfamiliar with exporting, who can draw on the experience and expertise of UKTI offices in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa.

Canada is vast - around forty times the size of the UK. In many ways it is a series of distinct markets - Alberta is very different from Newfoundland/Labrador and commercial strategies need to take this into account, but much of Canada offers exciting opportunities. The resource sector is booming on the back of rising global commodity prices and Canada is seeing rapid growth in clean-tech, digital media and construction. UK firms are also doing excellent business in financial services, healthcare, engineering consultancy and consumer goods. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the FTA currently being negotiated between Canada and the EU, is expected to be agreed in 2013, and should open further opportunities (e.g. in local and provincial government procurement and foodstuffs). Canada in turn offers good access to, and often excellent pre-existing trading networks into the US and Mexico.

The British Government has stressed the role of diplomatic missions in helping British companies to promote their products and services and address trade barriers. Our input can range from market information and visit programmes to product launches and high level networking dinners or receptions. I very much hope that British companies looking at export markets will take advantage of the opportunities in Canada and the services we provide. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

Howard Ronald Drake
British High Commissioner to Canada
British High Commission - Ottawa


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