Business leaders see Canada as a top destination for business expansion in the next three to five years, according to the latest HSBC Navigator survey.
The survey, which polled 9,100 companies in 35 markets between August and September 2019, found that 11% of business leaders identified Canada as an attractive market for expansion, right behind United States, the most desirable destination, at 14%.
HSBC found that international businesses have confidence in Canada due to favourable partnership opportunities and proven customer demand. Almost one-third (29%) of respondents also viewed Canada as a gateway to nearby markets.
Linda Seymour, head of commercial banking at HSBC Canada, attributed Canada’s popularity to its “open economy.”
“After having signed several new trade agreements with regions across the globe, including CETA and CPTPP, Canada’s interconnectedness and preferential access to a wide market are getting noticed by companies around the world,” Seymour said in a release.
Canadian businesses expecting moderate growth
HSBC also found that businesses in Canada are anticipating a moderate growth in sales over the next 12 months.
Eighty-four percent of Canadian businesses surveyed said they anticipate their sales to grow, which was slightly higher than respondents in the U.S. (80%) and the global average (79%).
However, only 21% of Canadian businesses expected their growth to exceed 15%, compared to 34% of U.S. respondents and an average of 22% globally.
Canadians were largely bullish about cross-border business, with 86% of respondents reporting they had a positive cross-border business outlook — up from 67% in 2018 — even though 68% said they thought governments around the world were adopting increasingly protectionist trade policies.