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Small/Medium Enterprises: Canada’s Borderless Business Reality

Christopher Columbus had a global perspective when venturing half way across the world for international business. He set his sights on an emerging market and set sail, giving birth to ‘a whole new world.’ Lucky for us, conducting business in emerging markets in 2011 doesn’t have to be as gruelling as spending months at sea.

In Canada, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are becoming more global in their outlook on international business. Borderless business is becoming a reality for many, and an opportunity for all.   

flagsA survey conducted by Angus Reid on behalf of UPS provided insights on Canadian SMEs opinions’ about emerging markets and highlighted some shifts in attitudes. Among the findings, 73% believe that Canadian businesses should put more resources into international trade. It was only last quarter in 2010 that many SMEs believed businesses should confine their commerce within Canada in order to sustain the country’s competitiveness, and more than half stated Canada should establish tariffs to discourage overseas exporters from accessing the Canadian market. These shifts in attitude can fuel Canada’s potential as a forerunner in global trade.

The survey showed that there are still some SMEs that believe they can’t compete with counterparts in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil. Coincidentally, some feel strongly towards the trade agreement currently being negotiated between Canada and the EU. The belief is that this partnership would be valuable because there is demand for Canadian goods on the other side of the pond, and because European economies are likely to bounce back from the recession soon. It seems that confidence is limited to certain parts of the world. 

Yet, many still associate the fate of Canada’s export sector with its traditional U.S. trading partner, with the belief that a rebound in Canadian exports will hinge on U.S. consumer confidence. 

Sitting at the observation deck, it’s interesting to note that certain global partnerships are more favourable than others. Should there really be a reason to refrain from venturing out in emerging markets and possibly realizing borderless success? Should a growing SME not be willing to take risks to break into an emerging market?

Explore your options. Set your course. Sail towards success.

Category: Business Insights, Global Impact
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