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CARICOM-Canada Trade Development Forum - Unlocking Business Potential between CARICOM and Canada  [HC Buxo, High Commissioner of Trinidad & Tobago, Canada]
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CARICOM-Canada Trade Development Forum - Unlocking Business Potential between CARICOM and Canada [HC Buxo, High Commissioner of Trinidad & Tobago, Canada]


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  • 1. Unlocking Business Potential Between CARICOM and Canada CARICOM-Canada Trade Development Forum November 2011
  • 2. Overview of CARICOM and Canada: Trade and Investment
    • Trade between Canada and CARICOM is relatively small though growing
    • For Canada, the region is a small trading partner with 1-2 % of total trade in goods in the Caribbean
    • For CARICOM, Canada is also a small trading partner with for 2.3% for total imports and 3.3 % for exports*
    • CARICOM-Canada two-way merchandise trade has more than doubled over the last decade, from CDN $1.1 billion in 1999 to $2.5 billion in 2008 and to $2.4 billion in 2010
    • Canadian imports from CARICOM were valued at CDN $1.6 billion in 2010, up from $575.1 million in 2000
    • Canadian exports to CARICOM were valued at CDN $779.45 million in 2010, up from $361.0 million in 2000
    Source: Statistics Canada and “Prospects on Enhanced Trade Agreements,” by Ramesh Chaitoo 2006
  • 3. Overview of CARICOM and Canada: Trade and Investment
    • Canadian direct investment in the CARICOM region was CDN $56.56 billion in 2009, mainly in financial services such as banking and insurance an increase of 102% since 2001
    • CARICOM’s direct investment in Canada, mainly from Bahamas and Barbados, was CDN $405 million in 2010
    • CARICOM investment into Canada increased by 35% since 2001, reaching a level of CDN$ 719 million in 2009
    Source: Statistics Canada
  • 4. Overview: Services Sector
    • Canada-CARICOM two-way trade in services was $3.4 billion in 2008
    • Canada’s service sector represents 72% of the economy and is the fastest growing segment of Canada’s international trade
    • Canada imported more services than it exported to CARICOM between 2003 and 2007
    • The services traded between both entities include travel, commercial, transportation and government services
    • The most dominant and highest income generation for both parties was commercial services
    Sources: Statistics Canada and CARICOM-Canada Trade Development Forum Market Intelligence Report
  • 5. Overview: Services Sector
    • The CARICOM-Canada Trade Development Market Intelligent Report identifies skills shortages which “exist across all provinces and territories in a number of areas“
    • This provides the opportunity for CARICOM countries to export more services to Canada
    • For example, there is already a great deal of movement from the professional services of all member states to all the provinces:
      • 66 005 foreign workers were recorded from CARICOM to Canada between 2003-2009
      • The greatest potential for trade with the CARICOM member states are with the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia; these existing connections can be capitalized on
    Source: CARICOM-Canada Trade Development Forum Market Intelligence Report
  • 6. Overview: Goods
    • CARICOM exports to Canada were up from $400 million in 1999 to over $1.4 billion in 2009. For example:
      • CARICOM exporters of Agribusiness products generated $70.4 million, and expanded by 6% / year between 2001 and 2008
      • Canadian wheat exports to CARICOM grew from $3.7 million to $72 million between 2001 and 2010
    • CARICOM represents a number of varied opportunities for Canadian exporters interested in any one of the 15 member states, and vice versa
    Source: CARICOM-Canada Trade Development Forum Market Intelligence Report
  • 7. Future Trade and Investment Overview: Canada
    • According to EDC, Canada’s accelerating trade market diversification story outlines a determined shift away from traditional markets towards the stronger growth in emerging markets
    • Emerging markets are forecast to collectively grow by 6% in 2010 and 2011, well ahead of the pace of traditional markets and a trend that EDC expects will continue to change the shape Canada’s economic growth profile
    • These markets will account for 20% of Canada’s exports by 2016 and almost 30% by 2020
    • In the period since 2000, growth in exports to non-traditional markets has consistently outpaced other export sales by a sizable factor
  • 8. Future Trade and Investment Overview: Canada
    • Although the non-traditional market segment is small, sales to emerging markets grew by more than 12% annually between 2001 and 2008, compared to traditional exports, which grew just over 1% annually
    • Mr. Peter Hall, EDC Vice President and Chief Economist recently stated that, “by simply staying the current course, emerging market exports are poised to transform Canadian trade patterns inside the current decade… Emerging markets could account for 50 % of Canada’s total merchandise trade by 2025. Under this scenario, Canada’s annual export growth could rise to 3.5 times the current pace”
    • Canada’s increasing focus on non traditional markets represents a growth opportunity for CARICOM investors
  • 9. CARICOM-Canada Synergies
    • Strategic locations for entry into additional markets
      • Latin American markets through CARICOM
      • EU markets through CARIFORUM’s Economic Partnership Agreement
      • American markets via NAFTA
    • Safe, stable and sustainable investment opportunities
    • Attractive investment climates for foreign investors
    • High literacy rates and common language
    • Large and diverse marketplaces:
      • The CARICOM region boasting 15 member countries
      • Canada a significant diaspora population from the CARICOM region
  • 10. Increasing Bilateral Trade and Investment
    • A CARICOM –Canada Trade and Development Agreement will facilitate increased bilateral trade and investment between Canada and CARICOM
      • Better, broader access for the service sector
      • Ensure a predictable and stable environment of Canadian regulations for CARICOM service providers
      • Increased transfer of professionals and skilled workers
      • Creation of strong investment rules that will attract foreign investment
      • Ensure open access to CARICOM goods and services
      • Ensure that technical barriers to trade and services are addressed
  • 11. Some Private Sector Concerns
    • Supply and demand, specifically CARICOM’s ability to achieve a supply capacity to meet demand
    • Assumptions that small economies cannot compete in international markets -- is not valid
    • Information asymmetries regarding the regulatory environment in different sectors. This is essential if CARICOM firms are to take advantage of any market access created by a new Trade Agreement (lack of templates)
    • Recognition of professional training and experience for skilled workers, and residency requirements, lack reciprocity between Canada and CARICOM
  • 12. Some Suggestions for Improving Returns on Bilateral Cross Border Trade
    • Responding to the changes in regional and international trading environments through increased competitiveness and innovation
    • Improving human resources and focused research, including support via relevant government institutions
    • Forging alliances between the public and private sector aimed at identifying strategies designed to achieve competitive advantage for the region
    • Opening up the CARICOM and Canadian markets for the movement of professionals and less-skilled workers, as well as other types of services exports
    • Assisting in educational exchanges between Canada and the CARICOM region aimed at educating the CARICOM counterparts on the design and implementation of global templates and standards
  • 13.
    • The mutual interest between Canada and the English speaking Caribbean are becoming increasingly more apparent, and the old habit of Canada and the Commonwealth Caribbean working together has new urgency, utility and importance. The challenge is to renew it in forward thinking ways and the Canada-CARICOM Trade and Development Agreement is a step in the right direction
  • 14.
    • Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.
    • CARICOM can learn from Canada
    • Canada can learn from CARICOM
    • THANK YOU!