Evolution not revolution
While COVID-19 continues to challenge how companies operate, two thirds (67%) expect international trade to improve over the next 24 months. However, it may not look quite the same as before — less than half (44%) of Canadian companies expect intra-regional trade to remain a chief priority. In fact, new realities may lead many more businesses back to the “old world,” with the share of trade with Europe expected to increase 32% compared to last year.
Staying agile, savvy and innovative is key for many companies, with six-in-ten intending to increase their overall financial investment in the business in the next year — with a greater focus on environmental and ethical sustainability, as well.
While 2020 has been fraught with uncertainty, many Canadian businesses are feeling more confident about the months and years ahead. More than four-in-five say they expect to return to pre-COVID levels of profitability by the end of 2022 — with a fifth (20%) saying they’re either already ahead of pre-COVID levels, or will be by the end of this year.
Find out how you can navigate the economic and trade evolution.
The pandemic is not dampening enthusiasm for exploring further trade opportunities outside of Canada. As Canadian businesses continue to respond to shifting needs, they recognize the benefits of international trade for their business and broader society.Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Banking, Western Canada at HSBC Bank Canada
46% of Canadian businesses say the COVID-19 second wave is the leading threat to their business growth.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, 20% of Canadian companies expect to meet or exceed their pre-COVID profitability levels before the end of 2020.
Two thirds of Canadian businesses expect international trade to improve in the next 24 months.
Three-in-five (62%) Canadian companies plan to increase investment in their companies in the next year, with a greater focus on environmental and ethical sustainability.
Companies in Ontario and Quebec are planning to increase investment in technology at a quicker rate than other provinces.
Customer experience and employee well-being will be central areas of focus for investment moving forward.
Nearly all (93%) Canadian businesses have concerns about their supply chains, including increased costs, suppliers not meeting sustainability requirements and suppliers who aren’t sufficiently agile.
To counteract these concerns, businesses have been focusing on selecting suppliers based on their country/government’s control of COVID-19, and usage of digital/technology.
Half of Canadian businesses plan to focus on suppliers closer to their customers/closer to home in 2021, and expect to choose suppliers based on their operational resilience and ability to deliver quickly.