Canada has taken great strides in the past generation to share our country’s wealth of products and services with the world. These impressive steps cover a range of formal activities inspired and led by our federal, provincial and territorial governments.
As a country, we’ve sealed a comprehensive trade deal with our closest trading partner and our other continental neighbour. We’ve leveraged this success to forge free-trade agreements with a variety of emerging economies, including Israel, Chile, Peru and Colombia, and to fuel negotiation of promising accords with some of the most vibrant, diverse and successful economies in the world—India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Union.
Canada has also struck numerous bilateral agreements to protect and promote investments by Canadian companies in countries in every region of the world. Our nation has been a key player in the world’s most important trade forums. And Canada’s governments have carried out Team Canada missions to countries and regions around the world and placed an expert corps of trade commissioners in offices in more than 150 countries throughout the globe.
Canada doesn’t trade internationally; it’s global businesspeople do
All of this hard work is truly impressive and deserves praise from all Canadian businesses who rely on global trade to fuel their success, and from all Canadians whose enviable standard of living is sustained by vibrant trade activity.
Yet when we get right down to it, let’s keep one fact clearly in mind: Canada doesn’t trade internationally. Canadian global businesspeople do—one business at a time, one relationship at a time, one transaction at a time. Nothing from our country is traded until a company sells a product or service to a person or enterprise abroad. Until then, anything our governments do—every agreement and MOU, every policy and program, every office and official—is just overhead. It’s the businesses of Canada and the men and women in them who produce, transport, market and sell goods and services to consumers all around the world.
Our country, therefore, cannot take full advantage of these trade deals, agreements, offices and commissioners unless these men and women—our exporters, importers, customs brokers, compliance specialists, logistics experts and others—are equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to be high performers in global business.
International Trade Workforce Strategy provides the rest of the solution
International Trade Workforce Strategy tackles this challenge. It identifies the knowledge, skills and abilities that international-trade practitioners must have now to be high performers in global business. It considers whether or not current global business specialists are equipped with this combination of knowledge, skills and abilities. And it determines if sufficient numbers of new workers—armed with the right stuff—are emerging to take full advantage of international trade.
See the results of the groundbreaking International Trade Workforce Strategy for yourself.