Population: 35.9 million (July 2018 est.)
Ease of Doing Business Ranking: 22nd (June 2018)
Economic Freedom Ranking: 9th (2018)
Trading Partner Ranking: 35th (2017)
Bilateral Trade: S$ 2.87 billion (2017)
Canada had the strongest economy among the G7 nations in 20171, with a growth of 3% which exceeded the United States and Germany. In 2018, Canada’s highly developed mixed economy is the world’s tenth largest by nominal GDP2.
Singapore businesses can find varied demographics of potential customers in Canada, many of which have significant spending power.
With a per capita GDP of around US$45,000 (S$60,750) as of 20183, Canada is among the top 20 affluent countries in the world. The country’s consumer base is bolstered by its multiculturalism and acceptance of new immigrants. This creates a diverse range of buyers and spending habits, particularly in relation to food shopping.
1 “Canada’s growth slowed to 1.7% in fourth quarter, but 2017 ended with 3% expansion”, CBC, 2 March 2018
2 “The world’s 10 biggest economies in 2017”, World Economic Forum, 9 March 2017
3 World Bank data, 6 July 2018
Setting up your business in Canada gives you easy access to a well-educated workforce.
Canada has one of the highest proportion of university graduates among developed nations. The majority of Canadians (54%) hold at least an undergraduate degree. Its culture is also accommodating to migrant workers and attracts a high influx of well-educated immigrants4. Immigrants, who account for a quarter of the Canadian workforce, are more than twice as likely as natives to have post-graduate degrees.
There is clear benefit for Singapore companies to consider Canada if you are interested to expand to North America. Canada resembles the United States with its capitalist economy but is more cost-competitive, providing an average 20% savings on qualified talent compared to their American counterparts.
4 “Census 2016: Canadians, including recent immigrants, are among the most educated in the world”, The Globe and Mail, 29 November 2016
Canada’s abundance of natural resources and agricultural produce spell opportunities for Singapore companies in industries such as wholesale trade, or oil and gas.
Canada is the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world. In particular, Canada is known for its export of wheats and grains, for which it is the world’s second largest exporter next to Russia5.
Canada is also the world’s largest producer of potash for agriculture, second largest producer of niobium for superconducting materials, and the fifth largest producer of coal. Other major produce include natural gas, aluminium and diamonds.
The oil and gas sector contributed nearly 10% of Canada’s GDP. Canada is the fourth largest producer and exporter of oil in the world, producing about 4.2 million barrels per day. As of 2017, Canada had reserves of 167.7 billion barrels of crude oil, giving it the third largest oil reserves on the planet6. It is also one of the few developed countries to be a net exporter of energy. There are a lot of opportunities for Singapore’s oil and gas businesses in Canada.
5 World Atlas 2018
6 “Crude oil facts”, Natural Resources Canada, 2018
According to the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, Canada’s economic freedom score is 77.7, making it the ninth freest economy in the world. International trade has long been considered a cornerstone of the country’s economy, with the combined value of exports and imports accounting for 64% of its GDP.
If you invest in Canada, you will have full and fair protection under Canada’s legal system, with few restrictions on the rights to private property. Canada’s protection of intellectual property rights meets world class standards: the judicial system is independent and transparent, and enforces contracts vigorously7.
As of 2017, Canada is home to 58 companies on the Forbes 2000 list, ranking seventh in the world8.
Singapore businesses will find Canada to be a familiar environment, with low levels of corruption and clear delineated roles of government in business.
7 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, The Heritage Foundation
8 “The world’s largest public companies”, Forbex, 24 May 2017
If you are keen to expand your business into Canada, let us link you up with our key partners, including Invest Quebec, the Alberta Singapore Office and the British Columbia Trade and Investment Office.
To find out how your company can collaborate with Canadian firms in areas related to Smart Cities and Industrial IoT, check out IoT Asia 2019.
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