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Canada must act now to capture opportunities in Japan, report finds

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Date: March 21, 2016

Related Issues Trade and Investment

Related Initiatives Canada in the Pacific Century

The Canada-Japan relationship holds great potential, but business and government could be more proactive in deepening economic ties, a new report by McKinsey & Company finds.

Canada and Japan have a longstanding commercial relationship with many complementary sectors and industries. However, despite these existing advantages, the trade relationship has not reached its full potential.

The report – “Strengthening the partnership between Canada and Japan” – suggests ways business and government could work together to increase trade and investment. As Japan executes a new growth strategy and Canada builds its presence in Asia, there is a tremendous opportunity to increase economic activity between the two countries, particularly given the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

The report highlights how stronger relations between Canada and Japan could hold huge potential for a number of sectors, including energy, agriculture and agri-food, manufacturing, institutional investing, infrastructure, healthcare and retail. It also emphasizes that Canada could play an important role in meeting Japan’s energy security needs, contingent on building the necessary transportation infrastructure to deliver Canadian LNG to Asia.

Further ways the public and private sectors could strengthen Canada’s relationship with Japan include:

  • Concluding bilateral free trade negotiations, with potential emphasis on agriculture, energy and labour mobility
  • Encouraging post-secondary schools and professional bodies to recognize coursework and degrees from each country
  • Exploring the possibility of establishing formal structures, like a federal “Minister for Asia”, to support Canada’s relationship with Asia
  • Identifying opportunities for co-investment in Asian infrastructure
  • Creating secondment/exchange opportunities between Canadian and Japanese companies to develop cultural and business ties.

Copies of the report are available here.

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