Canadian businesses need more than trade agreements to succeed internationally

May 12, 2014

OTTAWA, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ – In a report issued today, the Canadian
Chamber of Commerce argues that free trade agreements are not enough to
reverse Canada’s dismal trade performance over the past decade. Canada
needs to take parallel steps to bolster trade promotion services and
diplomatic support for companies abroad.

“International trade is one of the fastest and most effective ways for
our businesses to grow, create jobs and contribute to the economy,”
said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of
Commerce. “But the facts show that our companies are increasingly
reluctant to export and invest abroad, especially with emerging markets
where the bulk of future growth will come from.”

Recent efforts to improve domestic competitiveness and sign new free
trade agreements are helping. But these alone cannot address all the
barriers companies face when entering a new business environment, or
substitute for the need to build government-to-government relationships
that open new opportunities.

The paper examines Canada’s lagging trade performance and the case for
boosting trade promotion and economic diplomacy. Based on consultations
with member companies and other stakeholders, it reviews what Canada is
already doing in this area and recommends that the federal government
take concrete steps to:

        --  Integrate trade services and connect them to businesses
        --  Put the business back in Canada's global brand
        --  Strengthen Canada's diplomatic presence abroad
        --  Incorporate the private sector into Canada's international aid

“It’s not so much about changing what we do, but doing more of it and
learning from others how to do it better,” added Mr. Beatty. “The
government’s Global Markets Action Plan is a step in the right
direction, but we need to do more than just shuffle the same deck of
cards. We’re playing a new game now.”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between
business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and
decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families
across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and
boards of trade, representing some 200, 000 businesses of all sizes in
all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are
available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

SOURCE Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Source: PR Newswire

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