Each spring, Export Development Canada (EDC) publishes its Global Export Forecast for the year ahead. EDC’s vice-president and chief economist, Peter G. Hall, then embarks on a nationwide tour, presenting the analysis at always well-attended luncheon conferences. This forecast has become a reference in Canadian international trade and a highly useful tool for those involved in international business development, helping them set priorities and plan their activities for the year.
The following are a few highlights that could be of interest to Laval SME leaders:
- EDC predicts global growth of 3.7% in 2010, a huge improvement from the 1.1% recorded last year. Still, EDC refuses to call it a recovery given the many risks still threatening the world economy, for instance, the maturation of huge stimulus measures, instability on the financial and commodity markets, fear of inflation, and a potential new wave of protectionism.
- Within NAFTA, Mexico is expected to post the strongest GDP growth, projected at 3.5% in 2010 and 4% in 2011. Globally, BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India China) will dominate, with China and India leading the way. Solid gains are also expected in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- After a tough year in 2009, Canadian merchandise exports should rebound to the tune of 13% this year. Québec exports are projected to increase 9% in 2010, placing it seventh among the Canadian provinces.
- The EDC predicts a 22% jump in Canadian merchandise exports to Brazil, the sharpest growth among the principal trading countries. Last year, exports to Brazil represented a mere 0.4% all Canadian merchandise exports and had tumbled 41.4% from 2008. What this means is that Canadian companies would do well to establish stronger business ties with this now indispensable market.
- U.S.-bound exports should also improve, picking up 14%. Given the relative importance of this market (75%) for Canadian exporters, this bit of news is encouraging.
- As regards industries, exports will increase mostly in energy, commodities, and vehicles and auto parts. Aeronautics, the only sector where exports grew last year, and agrifood, will be the only two with negative growth in 2010.
After reading this analysis, I noticed that the activities we have planned for 2010 fit in well with these forecasts. In fact, we just recently returned from a very successful mission to Mexico and are in the process of organizing others for the fall, namely to China and Brazil. We will also be very proactive on the U.S. market, which is still the number one destination for most Laval exports. When you return from vacation, make sure to check out our fall program – it’s packed with activities!
You can read the Global Export Forecast on the EDC Web site.