Although many countries have opted for protectionism, Canada has shown a growing interest in attracting foreign direct investment. Gary Hokkaen, Managing Director at TMF Group Canada, discusses why Canada may be one of the best investment bets for EU companies for the next couple of years. 

Recently, Canada and the EU signed the European Union-Canada Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and will hire a dedicated sales force around the world to work with global companies in their expansion plans. This proves the solid business environment of the country and its interest in protecting the international business investments.

The CETA: a significant achievement in global trade

The European Union - Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed last month after more than seven years of difficult negotiation. The closure of this agreement represents a victory for the government of Justin Trudeau as is expected to create jobs, boost trade and strengthen Canada’s economic relations.

Some of the benefits for EU companies are:

• the opportunity to do business with Canada more easily;
• elimination of duties worth €400 million for goods originating in the EU;
• opening to new sectors of the Canadian services market;
• potential to keep prices down without sacrificing quality standards;
• more predictable conditions for investors.

The CETA is not only focusing on promoting exports and imports, but it also recognizes the importance of conferring benefits to sectors such as financial and knowledge-based consulting services, digital commerce and entertainment. Additionally, the agreement is promoting the mobility of workforce between Canada and European Union by allowing temporary entry to natural people with business purposes and by recognizing professional qualifications.

A few TMF Group clients in the EU took an early step and invested in Canadian assets prior to this announcement – these clients are now well positioned to make profit in a comparatively stable economy. We expect this trend to continue into the future.

Invest in Canada Hub in plans for the end of 2017

Also with the aim of attracting global investment, Canada is planning to create a new federal body - the Invest in Canada Hub - by the end of next year. This Hub will employ a dedicated sales force, not only to promote the country, but also to build partnerships and work closely with global companies to increase investment that will benefit Canada.

The hub will work globally, in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, as well as with provincial and municipal investment attraction offices.

Take advantage of the opportunities

Canada is an attractive market for companies looking to find stable places to invest. Taking advantage of new business opportunities – like the ones offered by the CETA – starts with navigating and understanding the Canadian regulatory environment.