02 april, 2012
A Luxembourg trade delegation in the presence of HRH the Crown Prince of Luxembourg and led by the Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade, Etienne Schneider, will be visiting Canada from 7-12 May. The itinerary will include Montreal and Toronto before finishing in Vancouver on the west coast. With a focus on the ICT and Life Sciences sectors, specific activities during the trade mission will include a Health Tech Workshop in Montreal, a workshop entitled “Luxembourg a hub for high-tech companies” in Toronto and a further ICT workshop in Vancouver.
Canada weathered the current economic downturn better than many of its peers, principally as a result of the better policies and regulations already in place. Canada’s report card ranking improved during the recession—from 13th place in 2006 and 2007 to 6th place in both 2008 and 2009 – as a result of other countries faring worse economically. (1)
The US is Canada’s largest export market, with the UK in second and China in third place. Gold and silver now account for half of Canada’s goods exports to the UK by value. In recent years, Canada’s export growth has kept pace with import growth. In the past ten years, Canada’s exports (raw materials or partially processed raw materials – primarily pulp and wood products, canola oil and coal, organic chemicals and resins) to China have tripled to $13 billion. (2)
So, where is Canada’s economy at currently?
Canada boasts a mature and highly diversified economy supported by regional clusters of excellence, with its main financial centre located in Toronto, but with Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver also playing important roles in this sector. In the manufacturing sector, Canada is active in the automotive industry with Magna International and Linamar Corporation leading the way in supplying parts for US car brands. Canada ranks 5th in the world in the aerospace and defence industry (3), where Canada’s Bombardier sells to Luxair, for example.
In ICT, Canada’s Research in Motion makes the Blackberry range of mobile devices and the IMAX Corporation is based in Toronto. Leading multinational telecom companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, and Huawei have invested in R&D in Canada, with Swedish manufacturer Ericsson selecting Canada as the site of its largest R&D and services centre outside of Sweden. Canada has attracted Norway’s Funcom, a multimedia gaming firm to operate its North American operation out of Montreal. Over 50k people are employed in the digital media industry, including at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Capcom Interactive Canada, Pixar Animation Studios and Digital Domain. The online gaming industry employs around 14k people in companies such as Matt Rix, Hemisphere Games, Relic and Chaotic Box. (4)
In BioTech / Life Sciences, Canada’s Sandoz, Cangene and Bioniche operate alongside world leaders including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Charles River Laboratories and others. The world’s top pharmaceutical multinationals have established R&D and manufacturing facilities, distribution centres or offices in Canada, including Pfizer, Schering-Plough, Johnson & Johnson, Novopharm, Novartis and Roche.
The country’s rich natural resources support the economy with logging, oil and mineral exploration and extraction.
Canada is currently present in the Grand Duchy courtesy of RBC (finance) and Husky (manufacturing), to name but the largest players.
(1) source: The Conference Board of Canada
(2) source: Invest in Canada
(3) source: Invest in Canada
(4) source: Invest in Canada