Current business situation
While the Canadian economy has been impacted by the fall in energy and commodity prices, the economy is still growing due in part to Canada’s close ties to the United States (US). Sectors such as manufacturing, technology and tourism, are experiencing strong growth, while regions, such as British Columbia (BC) and Ontario, now lead the country in economic growth.
Australians will find Canada a relatively easy market to do business in. Given the close cultural ties, the business culture in Canada (with the exception of Quebec) is very similar to Australia. Canadians are relaxed and approachable in their business dealings but they do put a high importance on developing strong, long-term business relationships. Face-to-face meetings are important as they help build rapport, which will facilitate the discussions. Although officially a bilingual country, business in Canada is conducted in English outside of Quebec.
Overall, Canadians are open to doing business with Australians and Australian goods and services have a long history of market acceptance.
Setting up in Market
Canada is an attractive market for Australian companies to set up, not only for the opportunities in the Canadian market, but also for the access it provides to the US and Mexican markets under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
For more information on how to set up in Canada visit Canada’s International Gateway portal.
Banking and finance
Canada has one of the strongest and most diversified financial sectors in the world. The World Economic Forum has ranked Canada’s banking systems as the soundest in the world for eight years in a row. Since 2008, Toronto has emerged as the second largest financial centre in North America and ranks as a ‘Top Ten’ global financial centre. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the third largest equity exchange in North America, seventh largest in the world with a market capitalisation of $1.6 trillion (2014) and a global leader in mining, oil and gas and clean technology.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Canada. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.
Links and resources
Government, business and trade
Canada Australia New Zealand Business Association (Vancouver)
Canada Revenue Agency
Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (Toronto)
Canadian Border Services Agency
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Export and Import Controls Bureau
News and media
National Post Online
The Globe and Mail
Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.