You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘trade’ category.
Are there really 2010 reasons? There are far more than that. Just take one modern, diversified economy with excellent business conditions and financial stability. Add in dozens of advanced industries and “clusters” of R&D and innovation. Then count the thousands of innovative, competitive companies, many of whom are leading the world in their respective fields. And the millions of dedicated, highly-skilled Canadians who help make Canada so competitive and enjoy unsurpassed quality of life.
In a place where creativity, excellence and achievement are commonplace, finding 2010 reasons is easy.
Download our brochure
Discover what makes Canada one of the best places in the world to invest, innovate, work and compete. Learn about how some of the best names in business are achieving excellence on a global scale from Canada.
2010 Reasons to do Business in Canada: Business Brochure (PDF version, 9.3 MB)
Read some Canadian success stories
Browse through these sector success stories and find out how Canadian innovation and creativity are being showcased on the world stage during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
… Whether or not countries will agree to play by common rules in international trade or pursue their own nationalist or regional policies will be critical. Today, the picture in overall trade policy remains mixed. World Trade Organization membership grew and average tariff rates fell between 1988 and 2007. Businesses are more interconnected than ever before. Even before the onset of the current crisis, however, there were signs that that global commitment to an open international trading order was eroding. The WTO’s Doha Development Round of trade talks have been on life support for years. Since 1995 the number of regional trade deals—which are inherently discriminatory—has increased over three fold. Equally troubling for an open international trading system, BBC World Service polling revealed that majorities in eight of the top ten economies, including the United States, thought that globalization was moving too fast for their tastes by January 2008.
In the current economic crisis, most countries have not yet succumbed to the temptation of significant beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism. But if the downturn broadens and deepens, politicians may not be able to resist the potential short-term political appeal of economic nationalism or regionalism. Last November, the ink had barely dried on G-20 2 leaders’ statement committing themselves to fight protectionism before protectionism’s creep resumed. According to the World Bank, 17 of the G-20 have implemented protectionist measures in the three months following the Washington, DC, summit. So far the wealthier countries have resorted to subsidies—think of the automobile industries in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, the United States, and others—while developing countries tend to erect trade barriers. Security, safety, and environmental regulations could become new forms of protectionism. …
In an effort to expand information available to exporters, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today added country pages to its Web site. Grouped into four regions – Western Hemisphere, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia and Oceania – these country pages provide essential demographic, economic and political information.
The new country pages will allow users to find comprehensive links, all in one place, on import requirements for each country, as well as travel and market information, the status of trade negotiations, trade development and important contacts. These pages are available on the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/countryinfo.asp.
In addition, the FAS Web site includes many searchable databases providing export, import, production, supply, and distribution data, as well as export sales reports and market reports from U.S. agricultural trade experts stationed in 97 offices around the world. A link to this information may be found at http://www.fas.usda.gov/fassearch.asp.
ITC’s New HTS Online Reference Tool Eases Use, Improves Access to Complex Harmonized Tariff Schedule
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released its new HTS Online Reference Tool, a comprehensive website for users of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). The ITC is mandated by Congress to maintain the HTS, which provides the tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States. The tariff schedule is a vital tool for importers, customs brokers, carriers, the government, and the public. The new HTS Online Reference Tool provides a web-based source for HTS-related information and offers current, accurate, and user-friendly electronic access to the 3,000-page HTS.
The HTS Online Reference Tool features direct links to:
* classification rulings by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) users will be able to jump directly from a specific HTS item to the Customs Ruling Online Search System (CROSS) for determinations on product classification for that HTS item, and users will be able to access the most current ruling for any product;
* HTS Chapter 99, enabling users to move from an HTS item in chapters 1-97 to the temporary, seasonal, or special situation tariff that applies for that item as listed in chapter 99; and
* footnotes, allowing users to move from the footnote number in the text directly to the footnote itself. In addition, users can now search the HTS by word, word combinations, or HTS number, and they can use common terminology to do so.
The HTS Online Reference Tool includes an expanding thesaurus that will help users search the HTS and locate an item even if they don’t know the precise classification language used in the document. For example, users will be able to search the word “cars,” which does not exist in the HTS, and be directed automatically to the HTS provisions covering “motor vehicles.” The thesaurus is in its early stages and will be enriched continually to reflect common terminology if a user searches on a term that is not currently included, that term will be added to the thesaurus. Over time, this regular updating will result in a rich, complex search engine that will make the HTS Online Reference Tool even more user-friendly. The ITC’s HTS Online Reference Tool can be found at: http://hts.usitc.gov
The World Bank Group has created the “Doing Business Map,” a visual learning tool to complement the Doing Business database, which provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 175 economies.
Take a trip around the world to discover how easy (or difficult) it is to do business in various developing countries. Click on green, yellow, or red placemarks to learn more about each country. Countries marked with a star were the top 10 reformers in 2005/06, the timeframe of the most recent Doing Business report.
Source: World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation
A Canadian iron mine company seeks to build a 143-kilometre private railway on Baffin Island
Iron Road Across the Permafrost by Oliver Moore, Globe and Mail – September 4, 2008
It will be the world’s most northerly railway, a private line snaking across the permafrost and rock of Baffin Island at a projected cost of $10-million per kilometre.
The ambitious project is part of a plan to tap iron-ore deposits 900 kilometres northwest of Iqaluit. The plan is subject to regulatory approval and securing financing, but preliminary drilling is already under way, say officials of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Construction of the 143-kilometre railway from Mary River to Steensby Inlet is expected to start the summer after next and take four years. (The Norwegian island of Spitsbergen had narrow-gauge trains running from mountain mines to the coast since the early 1900s, but they shut down in the 1970s and were nothing on the scale of the proposed Baffin railway.)
“There’s severe weather and all of our construction schedules have to be built around that,” said Rod Cooper, Baffinland chief operating officer and vice-president of operations.
The current plan is to start building the railway from both ends. As construction progresses, a series of work camps will be established along the route. The line will use a special type of high-grade steel designed for the extremely cold environment. And care will have to be taken to ensure that the embankment acts as an insulating layer that stops the permafrost from thawing.
The 143-kilometre railway will join the Mary River mines to Steensby Inlet, allowing year- round shipping of ore to European steel makers. Delivery of 12.6 million tonnes per year of ore will require, on average, four trains per day, 293 days per year, to travel betweenthe open pits and the port facilities.
Outlook darkens for Canadian exports
Globe and Mail, July 24, 2008 by DAKSHANA BASCARAMURTY
A brief lift in Canadian exports that’s forecast for the rest of the year is just an energy price-fuelled mirage and will be followed by a decline in 2009, predicts Export Development Canada.
The strong energy sector is expected to boost export earnings by 4.2 per cent throughout the rest of the year, but this brief deviation will likely be followed by a 1 per cent slump next year.
“I’m not one who wants to paint a rosy picture at all,” said Peter Hall, vice-president and chief economist of EDC. “It’s still very dark times for Canadian exporters.”
The EDC predicts the consumer goods, automotive, forestry and advanced technology sectors will be hit particularly hard in the second half of 2008 by rising commodity prices, the spread of U.S. economic woes, and a strong Canadian dollar.
The EDC forecasts a dreary decline of 18 per cent for consumer goods throughout 2008 and a further slump of 4 per cent in 2009, based largely on the continued fallout from the U.S. subprime crisis.
“Clearly, there will be fewer homes to furnish in the U.S. for some time and demand for these products will be soft over the forecast,” the EDC report said.
Energy prices, boosted by exports of natural gas, are expected to skyrocket by almost 40 per cent before tumbling 7 per cent next year when price corrections are expected to set in, the EDC predicts.
“If there is a speculative premium, we expect it to melt away pretty quickly,” Mr. Hall said. He added he still expects prices to remain high enough to justify continuing oil sands and offshore oil projects.
In its bleak summer forecast, EDC sees a glimmer of hope in the agrifood sector.
Global demand for grain may have been met with panic by consumers, but was welcomed by exporters of food, which EDC expects will do well for the rest of the year.
Mr. Hall credited the rise of the middle class in emerging markets, especially China and India, for stimulating the health of this sector.
“As those consumers get richer, one of the first things they do is buy and consume food,” he said. “It’s the reason why food commodity prices are not in for the same correction [as other sectors].”
EDC forecasts that agrifood exporters will also cash in on the surge of biofuel development through oilseed sales, which it expects will rise 38 per cent in 2009.
Echoing its spring forecast, EDC predicts developing markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia will provide Canadian exporters with healthier business than floundering developed markets such as the U.S., the European Union and Japan. But the EDC warns Canadian exporters to cash in on the robust developing markets while they can, as the economic turmoil developed markets have been wading through for months is expected to spread across the globe by 2009.
“If you see demand shrinking in 60 per cent of the world, you would expect to see a fairly rapid transporting of that into emerging markets that are feeding the machine,” said Mr. Hall, who forecasts China in particular may experience “Olympic hangover.”
The outlook for the Canadian dollar may spell a bit of relief for some Canadian exporters.
The EDC predicts the loonie will hover close to the U.S. dollar, but then drop to between 94 cents (U.S.) to 97 cents in the first half of 2009 with the expectation of energy price corrections. Mr. Hall said 86 per cent of surveyed exporters believe the value of the loonie will hold steady or decline through the end of 2008.
“The top strategy that we could identify in terms of them dealing with it was to hang in there and absorb the loss,” he said.
World Trade Indicators 2008
Source: World Bank
Welcome to the World Trade Indicators (WTI), an interactive tool designed to benchmark a country’s trade policy and institutions and help policy makers, advisors, and analysts’ identify the main border and behind-the border constraints to trade integration.
The WTI 2008 database is organized in five thematic categories, namely Trade Policy, External Environment, Institutional Environment, Trade Facilitation and Trade Outcome. Each category contains a main indicator and other reference indicators. Countries’ trade performance can be examined individually as well as in relation to other countries or country groupings, including by membership (Word) of trade agreements. To capture the key insights from both the indicators and country-level trade-related analytical work, Country Briefs and Trade at-a-Glance (TAAG) tables are also are provided.
An overview report (PDF; 3.4 MB) summarizes global patterns in trade policy and trade outcomes revealed by the database focusing mainly on regional and income level variations. The User Guide provides descriptions for the 299 indicators in the database, including data sources.
Canada is uniquely positioned to weather the storm of sharply-rising prices for grains and rice, and is even poised to profit from the current surge, according to a study released June 12, 2008 in the Canadian Economic Observer.
Overall, consumer prices for food consumed at home in Canada have risen only 1.2% in the 12 months ending in April 2008. Food prices increased 7.1% in the European Union and 5.9% in the United States during the same period. Countries in Asia with rice-based diets are experiencing the fastest increase in food costs, as the price of rice doubled early in 2008.
While consumers in Canada face higher prices for bread and cereal products, they have been insulated at the checkout counter from higher overall grocery bills by stable or falling prices for most other products, the study found.
The absence of price increases for these other food products reflects factors such as the lower cost of food imports in the wake of the rising Canadian dollar, and the relatively small role that commodities play in what consumers buy.
For most food products, services contribute the bulk of the value-added for food that consumers buy. As well, sharp relative price shifts give consumers ample room to adapt by substituting lower-priced foods.
From a broader perspective, Canada overall stands to gain from the agricultural price shock, the study found. Canada ran a surplus of $9.0 billion in its trade in agricultural and fish products in 2007.
In the first quarter of 2008, the surplus was on track to break that all-time high, running at an annual rate of $11.2 billion as wheat prices rose.
Moreover, farmers have stepped up their planting this year, especially of higher-priced crops. Besides directly increasing the value of agricultural output and the trade surplus, the boom down on the farm will indirectly benefit a wide range of suppliers, from machinery to transportation, financial and business services. Read the entire article (pdf)
A world of difference marks the tenth anniversary of PwC annual utilities global survey of 118 senior executives in 37 countries and reveals a sector that is anticipating wide scale transformation in the decade ahead.The changes witnessed in the last 10 years have been enormous. We have moved from a time when climate change barely registered a mention in a company’s annual report to one where it is on the lips of every chief executive who runs a power utility business. Similarly, we have moved from a highly fragmented, domestic and, often, municipal utility landscape of 10 years ago to one where the leading companies have a pan-continental and, increasingly, global presence.
The changes the survey respondents predict include a huge change in the technological landscape and structure of the sector in the future. We see a big surge in expectations that a diverse range of generation technologies – wind, solar, geothermal, combined heat and power, other forms of distributed generation and a range of combustible renewable and waste generation – will have a significant impact on companies’ power markets in the next 10 years. We are likely to see landmark change in industry structure with a blurring of the boundaries between power utilities and oil & gas companies. Similar shifts are taking place on the equipment and technological front with utility companies and equipment providers alike seeking to secure ownership of technological assets and market space. The report includes the viewpoint of some of the leading power equipment and technology suppliers to the utility industry.