The business environment in Canada can be divided into three key aspects. These are the political and economic, legal and ethical, and social and cultural. From a political and economic perspective, the country’s economy is strongly hinged on their exports. Accordingly, the recent fall in oil prices noted in 2017 and the previous years have had a toll on the country’s economic growth although they are doing well. For instance, their growth from 2016 to 2017 made Canada the fastest growing economy in the G7. They have managed to reduce the country’s debt to GDP ratio to 30.5% (Nordea, 2018). The current GDP is 1.653 trillion US dollars (Trading Economics, 2018). It is projected to further decrease to about 28.5%. In addition, the inflation levels managed to stay below the 2% target set by the Bank of Canada. Politically, the business world has been shaped significantly by the recent change in government. Through his government, Justin Trudeau reduced the personal income tax from 22 to 20.5%. Also, payroll taxes are expected to increase to fund the Canadian Pension Plan (Nordea, 2018). Additionally, the government speculates a shift in the business interactions between American and Canada because President Trump has pushed for new terms in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As a result, the Canadians have set aside a $3bn contingency fund in case this event happens. Therefore, Canadian politics have some major influences on the business environment
Canada is very ethically driven as there is a general belief that business ethics are integral to success. The ethical codes of conduct differ from one organization to the next. However, they are all guided by the letter and spirit of the Canadian laws. The particular code of business ethics in a particular business helps define their commitment to uphold the law in all business dealings as well as protecting human rights and dignity (Brooks, 2011). Canada is a signatory to the convention on combating bribery of Foreign Public officials in international business because the country is a member of the economic cooperation on development. The provisions of this are stipulated in the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act. Accordingly, these laws build on the already established ethical and legal systems in the country to include foreign business interactions. People found guilty of breaking the various ethical codes stipulated by the law are liable to prosecution (Brooks, 2011). The jail terms differ with the severity of the crime. However, there are very few people found guilty of these breaches. Therefore, the Canadians are strict on ethical matters with stipulations guiding their local and international business interactions.
Canada is estimated to have about 37 million citizens as of April 2018 (Statistics Canada, 2018). These people have developed a vibrant cultural arena including a diverse amount of industries, which include publishing, music, film, and arts industries. These industries form the heart of the country while contributing millions of dollars in GDP. This solidified cultural identity may be the result of the increased economic integration in the country. The strong domestic culture and cultural expression’s contributions span beyond the economy (Global Affairs Canada, 2018). They include maintaining and enhancing a strong sense of sovereignty and national identity.
Arguably, the increased globalization in terms of business and culture only works to reaffirm the local culture. All the aspects of the Canadian culture, books, music, film, paintings, and television express who the people in Canada are at the core. These influences sip into the business environment to dictate how business meetings are conducted, how corporate group bonding exercises are conducted. Also, the culture influences what mode of entertainment people choose. Thus, the Canadian culture significantly influences the entire business world either directly or indirectly.
- Brooks, L. J., & Dunn, P. (2011). Business & professional ethics. London: Cengage Learning.
- Export Development Canada. (2018). Business Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.edc.ca/EN/About-Us/Corporate-Social-Responsibility/Pages/business-ethics.aspx
- Global Affairs Canada. (2018). Canadian Heritage 2017-18 Departmental Plan. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/corporate/publications/plans-reports/departmental-plan-2017-2018/main-report.html
- Nordea. (2018). The economic context of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.nordeatrade.com/en/explore-new-market/canada/economical-context
- Statistics Canada. (2018). Canada’s population estimates, first quarter 2018. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180614/dq180614c-eng.htm?HPA=1&indid=4098-1&indgeo=0
- Trading Economics. (2018). Canada GDP. Retrieved from https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/gdp