This is an era of unprecedented uncertainty for businesses that depend on global market access to sell their products. The world’s two biggest economies – the United States of America and China – are in the midst of a trade war. The world’s fifth largest economy – the United Kingdom – is coming perilously close to exiting the European Union without a trade deal, which will have significant consequences for the United Kingdom’s manufacturing and automotive sectors. It's already hurting exports.If your company is situated in these countries or depends on these countries for trade access, it’s time to start looking for options that ensure a stable environment where your business can grow.
Waterloo, Canada is an excellent option. Here’s why:
1. The world’s largest free trade network
Companies in Canada can take advantage of the world’s most comprehensive trade network. As a result of free trade agreements like the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Canada is #1 in trade connections to G7 countries, including Japan, the United States and the entire European Union.
In total, we have trade agreements with more than 40 countries representing 1.6 billion customers and more than 60% of the global economy.
2. Geography that works for your business
Waterloo is in the middle of Canada’s largest collection of manufacturing, automotive and tech companies, but that’s not all. We’re also in close proximity to four international airports, including Toronto Pearson International Airport – Canada’s largest international hub. Our community is close to six Canada-US border crossings, with equally convenient access to the American Midwest (Detroit, Chicago) and the American Eastern Seaboard (Boston, New York, Philadelphia). In fact, we have one-day ground access to more than 150 million consumers.
3. Unique access to a unique ecosystem
Locating in Waterloo means access to one of North America’s most unique ecosystems. Our community is home to Canada’s top technology and engineering institution, the University of Waterloo. It’s in the heart of Canada’s largest manufacturing corridor. It’s the only place – in North America, at least – where a world-class automotive ecosystem overlaps with a world-class technology ecosystem. On one hand, we’re home to Toyota, Ford, BorgWarner and ESCRYPT/Bosch, and on the other we’re home to Google, BlackBerry and SAP. These international companies are in Waterloo because our ecosystem gives them an advantage in the global marketplace.
If you’re a manufacturer, especially one that’s looking to integrate technology in order to innovate, there’s no more advantageous place to be in all of North America.
4. Immigration policies let companies tap into global talent market
Attracting top talent is also easier in Canada. The Global Talent Stream program helps fast-growing tech-related companies hire people from around the world quickly and easily – a permanent resident visa and work permit can be approved in as little as two weeks. The University of Waterloo is also a hub for international talent – over 50% of engineering graduate students are from countries other than Canada – and policies to help retain talent in Canada simplify the recruitment process for companies. This is all on top of the other talent advantages that come along with locating in Waterloo.
In a world with growing uncertainty, where Brexit means substantial hurdles for manufacturers and service providers alike and political instability in the United States makes companies think twice before investing, Canada stands as a beacon of opportunity for businesses that need to reach a global market.
Are you interested in expanding your business in North America? There’s room for your success in Waterloo.