Singapore’s tech companies can find strong interest in tech and innovation in Canada, in addition to a variety of digital products and services.
The Canadian cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver regularly rank high as top centres for tech innovation:
Notable tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Uber continue to launch and grow sizeable operations in the country.
The Canadian government is highly supportive of the tech industry boom. It has an extensive Innovation and Skills Plan to establish the country as a world-class innovation and tech hub. This includes a S$1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund for companies to develop and commercialise cutting-edge products and services.
To expand into the Canadian market, your company can also tap into the innovative strength of Canada’s tech sector workforce. Part of the reason for Canada’s tech-centric workforce is its Start-up Visa Program. This is an immigration programme specifically targeted at entrepreneurs who have business ideas that are innovative, can create jobs for locals, and can scale internationally.
Canada’s tech industry also registers steady growth in sub-sectors such as aerospace technology. The country is home to more than 700 aerospace companies, contributing around S$12.6 billion to GDP in 20171. Singapore’s aviation companies can find opportunities and a business-friendly environment in the country.
1 Aerospace and defence in Canada, Government of Canada website
Canada is noted for having some of the world’s largest domestic pension funds. The most significant of these, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), actively invests in infrastructure projects.
As of September 2018, the CPPIB stands at around S$376.6 billion. 53% of the board’s assets are in North America, while a sizeable 23.5% are located in Asia Pacific2. The CPPIB currently manages around 30 distinct investment programmes – these include 17 major infrastructure projects in countries such as Australia, Chile, India, and the United Kingdom.
Canadian pension funds are also increasingly focused on domestic public infrastructure. The Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund, for example, recently invested around S$1.3 billion into building a 67-kilometre light rail network for Montreal. These projects are part of Canada’s ongoing support for Smart City programmes.
2 “How we invest”, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, CPPIB website
Singapore and Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2018 to enhance collaboration in infrastructure and smart city development. Singapore infrastructure and engineering companies can thus explore partnerships with Canadian counterparts, in infrastructure projects within ASEAN nations as well as in Canada.
The Canadian government has also launched an Investing in Canada plan which will inject more than S$184.1 billion into the country’s infrastructure over 12 years3. This will fund infrastructure projects in the fields of green energy, public transit, social development, trade and transportation, and rural and northern communities.
Singapore companies in relevant fields can find opportunities to collaborate with Canadian partners, as the various projects gain momentum.
3 Delivering the Plan, Investing in Canada, 11 August 2017
The service sector is the largest in Canada, accounting for 70.2% of the country’s GDP in 20174. Around four in five Canadians are employed in the service sector, and 60% of the country’s fastest growing exports over the past decade were services5.
Retail is the largest component of the service sector, with major companies such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Future Shop being well established in the country. The second largest portion of the service sector comprising financial services, along with real estate and communications, are also seeing rapid growth6. These business services are contained primarily in the urban centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Singapore fintech companies should note that Canada’s financial institutions are highly open to collaboration. According to the Global Risk Institute, 62% of the country’s financial institutions are in active partnerships with fintech companies in 2018, and 88% intend to increase partnerships going forward7.
If you are in the service sector, you can find a varied and affluent market for various services in Canada, ranging from retail to financial. In addition, the highly skilled workforce provides a deep talent pool.
To find out how your company can collaborate with Canadian firms in areas related to Smart Cities and Industrial IoT, check out IoT Asia.
4 CIA World Factbook 2018
5 “Canada’s service sector expertise is drastically undervalued”, Trade Ready, 22 March 2016
6 “Life in Canada”, Canadian Visa.org, 2018
7 “An overview of Fintech in Canada”, Global Risk Institute, 9 March 2018
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