Top Global Trade Trends and Annual General Meeting

Held:            December 2014

Location:     Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto

Along with the election of new officers, OWIT's annual holiday event, hosted by Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, featured Danielle Goldfarb, Associate Director, The Conference Board of Canada's Global Commerce Centre, who shared top 2015 global trade trends, based on Conference Board research. Among those she highlighted:

  • There will be increasing potential for Canada's expertise in services that currently gets less attention than our resource exports. "Think beyond the traditional concepts of trade," she urged, noting that the exporting of services will have a different impact on public policy and relies more on face-to-face communications and building relationships.
  • Although the U.S. will continue to be Canada's most important export market well into the future, it is getting more competitive there and represents lower long-term growth potential. Huge opportunities exist in emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, which present higher growth potential than our traditional trade partners. She pointed to energy, food, water and infrastructure needs in these markets. "These are all areas of opportunity for Canadian companies that can help solve the challenges in developing countries by adapting what we have in Canada."
  • Canada's many new free trade agreements (FTAs), including the recently signed EU deal, will open more doors to facilitate trade but, in order to be successful, companies must innovate and adapt their products and services to different markets. "Our research shows there is a clear causal relationship between introducing new products/services frequently and achieving success," Goldfarb emphasized.

The bottom line? Despite reports of global gloom and doom, there will be many opportunities for Canadian companies in 2015. "Success comes down to resilience, doing your homework, working your network and innovation," she said.

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