Doing Business with Canada
|Language||official language English, French|
|State system||pluralistic democratic federal constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament|
|Head of State||Elizabeth II, represented by the Governor-General|
|Head of government||Justin Trudeau|
|Currency name||Canadian dollar (CAD)|
|Time shift||5 time zones: -3.5h – 9h (winter), -– 8h (summer)|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||1,940.00|
|Economic growth (%)||4.6|
Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. The official head of the country is the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, but her actual role is rather symbolic. She is officially represented in Canada by the Governor General, who is appointed by the Queen on the proposal of the Prime Minister.
The central figure of the executive branch is the Prime Minister, who since 2015 has been Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. It won again in the parliamentary elections in 2019, but lost its majority in Parliament and thus has to rely on the support of opposition parties.
The Parliament consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The pinnacle of judicial power is the Supreme Court.
The capital of Canada is Ottawa, and the largest city is Toronto. Apart from the three federal territories in the north of the country, which have a minimal share of the Canadian population and economy, Canada is divided into ten provinces. The official languages are English and French (in the province of Quebec French is the only official language, in the province of New Brunswick both languages apply), in the province of Nunavut the official language is also the indigenous Inuit.
Canada is among the ten largest economies in the world. In addition to a dominant service sector, Canada has advanced industries (automotive, aerospace) and vast reserves of oil and other raw materials, as well as agricultural land, making it a major exporter of energy, food and minerals. Significant deposits of oil (3rd largest in the world after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia) and natural gas come mainly from the oil sands (98%) in the western provinces of the country, especially in the province of Alberta. The Canadian market is very transparent, open to European companies. Also thanks to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which has been temporarily implemented between Canada and the EU since 2017 and which removed most import duties, the Canadian market offers many opportunities for Czech companies. Among the currently most promising sectors, based on the Industry Opportunities Map,
Despite signs of economic recovery, Canada faces high inflation, which rose to a record 5% at the end of 2021 and is rising, along with an uneven recovery across sectors and associated labor shortages in the most affected services, posing challenges to further economic growth. But the Liberal government’s ambitious plan to rebuild the country, which aims to build a greener, more innovative and more competitive Canadian economy, represents a possible path to long-term growth.
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
Important phone numbers:
- Universal emergency number: 911
- In the event of an emergency of a citizen of the Czech Republic in Canada, call the diplomatic service of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ottawa +1 613 794 2277, where the citizen will learn how to proceed. The line operates 24 hours a day. In other cases, contact the office during office hours ( https://www.mzv.cz/ottawa/cz/o_velsvysanystvi/index.html ).
- The emergency line of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Toronto +1 437 237 8058 operates only outside the working hours of the embassy and is intended exclusively for citizens of the Czech Republic in emergency or threat to health and life. In other cases, contact the office during office hours ( https://www.mzv.cz/toronto/cz/kontakty.html ).
Important web links and contacts
Websites and contacts for all ministries, the government, the president, local chambers of commerce and further for consideration by country (e.g. major media, central bank, economic analysis, tax administration…)
Government of Canada (main directory including financial administration) – https://canada.ca
Parliament of Canada – https://parl.gc.ca
Prime Minister of Canada – http://pm.gc.ca
Governor General – http: //gg.ca
Global Affairs Canada – http://international.gc.ca
Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – http://tradecommissioner.gc.ca
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – http://ic.gc.ca
Department of Finance – http://fin.canada.ca
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – hwww.agr.gc.ca
Transport Canada – http://tc.gc.ca
Natural Resources Canada – www.nrcan.gc.ca
Temporary Foreign Worker Program – www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/index.shtml
Statistics Canada – www.statcan.ca
Bank of Canada – www.bankofcanada.ca
Government Procurement – https://buyandsell.gc. approx
Professional associations and chambers of commerce
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce – https://chamber.ca
Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters – https://iecanada.com
Canadian Exporters and Manufactures – https://cme-mec.ca/
Canadian Bankers Association – https:// cacba.ca
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers – https://capp.ca/
European Union Chamber of Commerce to Canada – www.euccan.com
Czech Business Association of Canada – www.cbaconline.ca/
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic – https://gocanada.cz
Canadian Embassy in Prague – www.canada.cz
The Ten Commandments for Doing Business with Canada
The PaulSourcing agency has prepared ten recommendations for doing business with this territory for Czech entrepreneurs interested in business relations with Canada. In 2020, it was supplemented with 4 current tips.
4 recommendations for entering the Canadian market during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Knowledge of the current situation Familiarize yourself with the current situation in Canada using the information provided in the Summary Territorial Information. Although Canada has not imposed any restrictions on international trade, the needs of both companies and consumers are different today than they were in February of this year, and therefore it is necessary to respond to the current situation correctly. Our foreign office will help you navigate the new situation and recommend a strategy for entering the Canadian market with your product or service.
- Participation in tenders Since no large private sector investments are expected in Canada in the near future, the focus should be on tenders issued by government institutions. It is estimated that public procurement accounts for up to 12% of Canada’s GDP, and it is expected that the government, in order to stimulate the economy, will tender these on a significantly larger scale than before. On the basis of the CETA agreement, Czech companies have the opportunity to participate in tenders issued by all levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal). The federal government publishes all contracts on the Buyandsellgovernment website. The vast majority of public contracts are available in the private system of MERX.
- Investments in suitable sectors Sectors for which we do not expect a big decline, but possibly growth, are: infrastructure (government tenders), mining of precious metals, nanotechnology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, ICT, both technology and services, and then generally innovative technologies that will make it more efficient processes and production.
- Selection of suitable business partners At this time, when PaulSourcing offers its services for free, the foreign office offers help mainly in consultation for entering the Canadian market. Furthermore, for the given company, on the basis of selected target groups, they will prepare a so-called “longlist”, from which they and the company will select 5 companies, which they will then approach and present to them the products or services offered by the Czech company. If a Canadian potential partner expresses interest, a SKYPE or ZOOM conference will be arranged. When the situation allows, he will help by arranging a personal meeting, participation in a trade fair, providing office space for meetings, assistance during meetings, etc.
Ten points for doing business with Croatia
- Be matter-of-fact and direct When contacting Canadian businessmen, be matter-of-fact, polite, act without unnecessary delays, the first contact is accepted both in person and by phone, fax, email. Corruption is almost non-existent in Canada.
- Communicate electronically, be punctual in face-to-face meetings Most business negotiations with overseas partners take place in writing via electronic communication. When dealing in person in Canada, be punctual, try to remember the names of business partners and their place in the company’s hierarchy.
- Carefully avoid politics and critics of jokes in the discussion. During negotiations, it is good to marginally mention the family, fundamentally avoid politics, criticism of all kinds, Czech humor, and when dealing with women, jokes and comments on the topic of feminism are a complete taboo.
- Canadian English spelling and French preferred When communicating in writing, prefer to use electronic mail, it is also a good idea to have a functional fax machine in reserve. The use of Canadian English spelling will certainly be an advantage, you can also use French in contact with a French-speaking province, both languages are officially recognized. When writing a conversation, follow the officially given style of the letter.
- Written documentation pays Document all negotiations in writing to avoid unpleasant legal and commercial consequences from a poorly written contract. A Canadian appreciates practicality and brevity, has little respect for titles, the value of an individual is determined by what he does and how he behaves, not by the title.
- Dress appropriately For business meetings, the most appropriate attire is a costume for women and a suit for men.
- Preferential working breakfasts and lunches Working breakfasts and lunches are preferred over evening meetings, they take place in principle without serving alcohol, and smoking is also not respected.
- Working hours Working hours in Canada are usually from 8-9 am to 4-5 pm. Grocery stores are open from the early hours of the morning until at least 10 p.m., some even 24 hours a day. Other stores incl. department stores are open from 9-10 a.m. until approximately 9 p.m.
- Find out about holidays In Canada, there are both national and provincial holidays, when people are off work. Before any negotiations, it is recommended to find out these holidays in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises and time delays. Also think about the time difference between Canada and overseas countries, but also within Canada itself due to the six time zones.
- Respect the laws Canadians are generally nice and friendly people. But they are disciplined, respect the law and expect the same from the visitor. If you respect this, you will avoid unpleasant situations and take home only good memories of Canada.