Canada suffers from a stubborn lack of productivity growth, threatening our standard of living. Exporting is one of the keys to solving Canada’s productivity problem.
Research and previous reports by Deloitte clearly show a link between productivity and export activity, but fewer than 4% of Canadian companies export. Worse, despite clear advantages for companies who turn their attention beyond our borders, export activity by Canadian companies is slowing down.
Exporters grow faster and become more productive. More surprising is that exporting lowers overall business risk. By diversifying their geographic exposure, exporters experience more stability and lower risk of market failure — even if foreign markets are more volatile than the domestic market.
With less exposure and sensitivity to risk, Canadian exporters invest more in innovation, driving their competitiveness.
Deloitte has distilled insights from 46 experienced exporters into a three-stage journey toward “smart exporting,” captured in a new report, The future of productivity: Smart exporting for Canadian companies.
Stage 1: Think like an exporter
- Prospective exporters need to adopt a global mindset. They should reflect on what makes their business world-class as they explore foreign markets and seek out experienced exporters for mentorship and market insights.
- Assumptions can be dangerous. Some 70% of new Canadian exporters begin in the U.S. market — one of the world’s most mature and competitive. With emerging markets offering attractive opportunities, companies should carefully evaluate whether the U.S.-first option is for them.
Stage 2: Become an exporter
- Canadian companies should boldly promote themselves abroad, localize their efforts and manage risk through staggered growth and risk sharing.
- The most successful exporters transform themselves into local players.
Stage 3: Win as an exporter
- Exporters can re-invent themselves by absorbing new technologies and business practices. They benefit even more through opportunities to collaborate with foreign partners to innovate and build scale.
Exporting can help our companies and our country raise productivity and become more competitive. It’s time for Canadian business leaders to step boldly and decisively onto the global stage.
Click here to download the report.
Source: Deloitte LLP