MISSISSAUGA, ONT.—Canadian businesses are optimistic about manufacturing’s competitiveness in the global economy, according to a new survey of SMEs.
The UPS-commissioned survey found 57 per cent of firms see the sector’s recent rebound as a sign of better times ahead.
In spite of the high dollar, 73 per cent said SMEs should still invest in global trade operations.
With the Canadian dollar hovering around $1.05, that’s really good news, says Pat Stanghieri, UPS Canada vice-president of marketing.
“SMEs are saying they don’t view it as a significant issue—they see it as an issue, but it’s one they know they can overcome,” he says.
Instead, half of SMEs said Canada should focus on innovation and diversifying natural resources exports.
“That’s an important shift from ten years ago when the thinking was ‘let’s continue to work the same process we always have because the dollar low’”.
Even though more respondents are seeing value in international trade, 45 per cent are still counting on the U.S. recovery to rebound Canadian exports.
They also aren’t as eager to walk the talk.
One in five said they weren’t sure they could compete with counterparts in markets such as China, India and Brazil.
Stanghieri says despite some cold feet, the results are an improvement from previous years.
“Canadian manufacturers are at least starting to think about how to play in a new economy,” he says.