Canadian Manufacturing

India potential sweet spot for Canadian firms in ‘hot’ sectors: report

Conference Board of Canada identifies autos, machinery as "sweet spot" sectors in booming economy

OTTAWA—Canadian firms are world leaders in a number of India’s hottest economic sectors, according to a new report, which leaves glaring opportunities to take advantage of high growth potential in the booming economy.

The new Conference Board of Canada report says that while Canadian commercial activities with India pale in comparison with the scale of trade and investment with the nation’s more traditional, advanced economy partners, India represents a high ceiling market in a number of sectors.

“Few Canadian companies have taken full advantage of the rapidly growing Indian economy,” Danielle Goldfarb, associate director of the Conference Board’s Global Commerce Centre, said in a statement.

“Canada’s demonstrated strengths in other markets could be adapted and applied to India’s needs.”

Some of the sectors that offer both high growth potential and relative openness to Canadian businesses and fall into what the Conference Board calls the “sweet spot” include:

  • autos
  • machinery
  • transport
  • energy
  • communications

As the world’s second most populous country and a rapidly growing middle class, India offers tremendous opportunities.

India’s economy grew rapidly between 2003 and 2007, averaging an impressive nine per cent real annual growth in that time, according to the think-tank.

It has experienced a slow-down since then, but for an economy that is still expanding only a meager 0.5 per cent of Canada’s goods exports go to India.

Two-way trade between the nations totals less than $5-billion annually, mostly in goods.

However, as Canada’s trade with the United States stagnates, Canada’s trade with fast-growing markets is starting to take off.

Canada and India are negotiating a trade deal, ambitiously slated for completion in 2013.

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