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Canada: The land of opportunity and gateway to the Americas

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For companies seeking to expand their footprint in the Americas and beyond, there’s no better place to start than Canada. The country has expansive trade agreements, giving it access to 1.5 billion people around the world. Due to close integration with its North, Central and South American neighbours, the potential is limitless.

Here are three reasons why Canada makes for an attractive destination for any business that has eyes on expanding - both here and throughout the Americas.

The true north, strong and free — and open for business

Canada has long been considered a top destination for companies looking to go global. The country has progressive immigration policies, consistently adopts free-trade agreements and its industries are as diverse as the people working in them. Whether it's green technology in natural resources, aviation or financial services, it’s not hard to uncover opportunities in this G7 nation, especially since it shares the longest undefended border with the world’s largest economy. Not only that, more than half of Canadians have a post-secondary education, and there’s myriad government programs in place aimed at attracting high-skilled workers.

The federal government recognizes the opportunities that come with international investment, and has set up a number of incentive programs to encourage growth, particularly in the technology sector, which accounts for 5% of Canada’s GDP.

“SHRED, also known as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program, has been tremendously popular and more than 20,000 companies are using it,” says Scott Brown, VP and Market Head of Corporate Banking at HSBC Bank Canada. “But in order to capitalize on the many programs out there, you need a guiding hand. That’s where HSBC’s International Subsidiary Banking team can be really helpful for those entering the Canadian market.”

While Canada has plenty to offer domestically, there are only 37 million people living in the world’s second largest country, geographically speaking. With a population smaller than California's, Canada has signed 14 free-trade agreements, giving it access to the world’s largest markets — something many countries lack. That positions Canada as a springboard for expansion in the Americas and beyond.

Trade agreements galore

Canada, the United States and Mexico have reaffirmed their commitment to continental free trade through a revamped agreement called the USMCA. This new trade pact provides stability for cross-border commerce. With HSBC on the ground in all three countries, it can provide market-leading support unlike no other banks in Canada.

Canada is also actively engaged with many other countries in the Western Hemisphere and has established trade agreements with the world’s top economies in far-flung regions of the globe. Those trade deals include CETA with the European Union and the TPP and its 11 signatories in Asia and South America.

“Thanks to our international network, we can make those much-needed introductions when companies are entering a new market for the first time,” says Dan Leslie, Head of Client Coverage at HSBC Bank Canada. “Being able to fully understand and appreciate the many considerations of doing business in a new country makes all the difference, and can help companies avoid the hazards that can trip them up when they lack that local knowledge.”

Transacting with vendors, customers and partners outside of Canada is also easy, with solutions like Global Disbursements and Cross Border Automated Clearing House (ACH) service.

Global Disbursements (GD) enables HSBC customers to disburse payments globally using a single funding account in over 130 currencies covering up to 175 countries. HSBC has also made it simpler to issue payments into the US than ever before.  With the Cross Border ACH service, under Global Disbursements, customers can disburse USD payments seamlessly into the US by leveraging the local ACH clearing system – without the use of wire payments that can prove costly in large volumes.

These products are designed to provide a cost-effective alternative for disbursing international payments by helping clients to streamline their payables processes, minimize risk and improve transparency.

Supporting sustainable finance goals

Canada is fully committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions targets by 2050 and is supporting a wide range of sustainable finance goals that place a greater emphasis on ESG efforts and disclosure. For HSBC and its clients, ensuring sustainable finance remains a core consideration when expanding abroad is something that won’t get lost in the mix.

“We fully appreciate and admire our clients’ sustainability goals, and having HSBC share that commitment is incredibly important, especially when operating in markets where sustainable finance may not be getting the attention it deserves,” says Leslie. “We all want to build back better, and having HSBC fully invested in sustainable finance and doing the right thing is attractive to our existing and potential new clients. We’re proud of making ESG a priority.” 

Get in touch

If you’re looking to expand to Canada and tap into its vast opportunities, please reach out to your relationship manager to set up that first meeting, or contact us to find out more.