The Global Business Environment Background

Canada in the Global Business Environment Background You are preparing for a top-level meeting between the Minister of International Trade, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and senior business executives representing several multinational corporations, as well as a large group of small and medium-sized enterprises. The objective of the meeting is to discuss Canada’s strategy in responding to the changing global business environment. Expectations are high since everyone wishes to move beyond political pronouncements and joint statements, to specific strategies and actions. This Trade Canada Summit is raising expectations and all are committed to inspiring a call to action across major stakeholders engaged in international commerce. While Canadians like to refer to their country as a “trading nation” – partly because of history and partly because of the large impact of trade on today’s Canadian economy-leading practitioners and senior officials recognize several truths: • Canadian trade is highly concentrated in import/export activities with the United States. • Certain industry sectors, such as automotive and resource-based businesses, account for a disproportionately large amount of Canada’s trade. • Intra-company trade-transfers of resources between affiliated companies—is an important part of Canada’s “export” business The hard reality being confronted, and one which serves as a critical backdrop for this meeting, is the realization that by current standards Canada does not qualify to be referred to as a trading nation. One point of agreement between all parties is that Canada can and must do better in this regard. Your Role You are a senior consultant engaged jointly by the government and the private sector stakeholders to guide and facilitate the meeting and to assist in any agreed-upon actions. Your success will be measured by the degree to which theory and principle are translated to practical, innovative recommendations and actions, endorsed by all parties at the Trade Canada Summit. Position Research You fully appreciate that your effectiveness in this sensitive role will depend upon your ability to clearly articulate the major views of each group represented at the Summit. Review the following sources (and others you may identify) to assist in identifying the current issues, positions and options which are likely to be the focus of the upcoming Summit. • Canada’s State of Trade, published annually by Global Affairs Canada • Business Council of Canada Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters • Canadian Chamber of Commerce Canadian Federation of Independent Business . .

Trade Attitude Your professional experience to date allows you to immediately hone in on the importance of attitude in the successful pursuit of international trade and global business. Scan the leading press-as well as some “fringe” publications-to assess the current attitude of Canadians, Canadian businesses and various government officials to Canada’s involvement in international trade and global business. Prepare a matrix of selected quotes, comments and observations, identifying the source and the stakeholder group involved, that will be represented at the Summit. Assessment Tools and Capabilities Understanding that among attendees to the Summit there is broad consensus that Canada can and must do better, you determine that it would be valuable to ensure all attendees are aware of the availability of certain tools and resources. Review selected resources available to Canadian businesses of all sizes to support their efforts in international business and trade. Those sources can include, but need not be limited to: • Canada Business Network • Canada Border Services Agency • Export Development Canada • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada • Canadian Trade Commissioner Service • Global Affairs Canada Engaging Summit Attendees In preparation for the launch of the Summit, leverage your research, your own experience and your understanding of the global business environment-particularly emerging trends such as integrative trade, the impacts of China and India on global trade, and the increasing impact of global supply chains-to prepare a briefing note to each key group: Global Affairs Canada, Canadian corporate executives, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Highlight one or two major issues or trends of interest to each, with reference to the same broad themes. Theory to Action: Developing Recommendations Prepare an outline of the main objective of each group represented at the Summit-a “must have” outcome that each would target in such a discussion-then identify an innovative contribution that you could propose to each group as a means of taking the dialogue from principles to practice. Consider how you would advise each group-both in terms of securing their own respective interests and in terms of contributing to the broader national objective. Learning Outcomes This case study relates to the following learning outcomes from the module Situational Analysis in the course Feasibility of International Trade.

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Assess the readiness of the organization to undertake the potential new international trade initiative or expansion • Develop a research brief which outlines the parameters of the research to be undertaken based on identified research objectives for the prospective initiative. • Screen potential international markets to identify priority markets. • Design the research plan and conduct the designated research. • Analyze research data and present findings and recommendations as they relate to the stated research objectives Case Study Questions 1. How effectively do Canadian businesses and government engage to promote a shared vision and agenda in the global business environment? Do Canadians strike an effective balance between private sector pursuit of global business and public sector support and engagement? (5 Marks) 2. Relative to the needs of the private sector, how well integrated and complementary are the trade and international business resources offered by the Canadian government? What are the gaps, if any, that are perceived to exist? (5 Marks) 3. What does a review of the current press reveal about the attitudes of Canadians in terms of global business and international trade? (5 Marks) 4. What recommendations might come out of the Summit involving major stakeholders involved in Canada’s pursuit of global business and international trade? Develop three to five recommendations and illustrate how they might apply in the context of trade and global business, particularly with respect to the rapidly expanding service sector.

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