Canadian Plastics

Globalization need not be feared

Canadian companies must develop markets for their products, services and skills around the globe -- in fact, the country's continued economic prosperity depends on it....

March 1, 2006   By Tom Venetis, editor



Canadian companies must develop markets for their products, services and skills around the globe — in fact, the country’s continued economic prosperity depends on it.

That was the message expressed recently by Joe Cordiano, Ontario’s economic development minister who was on hand to open a new trade office in Mumbai, India. His words should be wake-up call to all plastics processors and moldmakers in Canada.

Like it or not, globalization isn’t a passing fad and eventually everyone must accept it. But globalization is not necessarily something to be frightened of.

Certainly globalization and its competitive pressures are and will continue to make doing business difficult for some plastics processors, but cultivating a domestic market-only policy, while psychologically comforting, does not and will not provide an avenue for profitable growth.

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That’s why Ontario and other provinces are stepping up their efforts to open markets in countries such as India and China for provincially-based businesses.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest headed a delegation to India in January, Manitoba’s Gary Doer followed on Charest’s heels in February, and Ontario’s Dalton McGuinty will follow up his November 2005 trip to China with a visit to India in early 2007.

Although it’s encouraging to see provincial governments spending more time actively marketing Canadian businesses to other countries, Canadian plastics processors and moldmakers don’t have to wait for the government to go first.

There are plenty of ways for plastics processors and moldmakers to start feeling out opportunities.

For example, at the recent PlastIndia show in New Delhi, Canadian companies, such as Brampton, Ont.-based Brampton Engineering, showcased not only their technology and solutions to prospective Indian buyers, but also touted their long-standing joint venture in India, setting an example for everyone to follow. And many other Canadian companies with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association were invited to a networking dinner at the residence of the Canadian High Commissioner Lucie Edwards that offered a chance for Canadian plastics processors to meet with representatives of Indian plastics firms. These meetings could form the basis for lucrative growth opportunities for many in the plastics industry. Showcasing Canadian machinery, skills and design expertise are the only ways to find the joint ventures that will open up new revenue opportunities for Canadian firms.

Certainly looking outside of one’s borders is cited as the key to continued growth by the three moldmakers profiled in this issue of Canadian Plastics. Each was emphatic that developing close ties to customers in the U.S. and emerging markets like India and China is the ticket to future success, and the only thing that has allowed them to continue growing in a market that has suffered greatly in the last few years.

Looking only at cultivating business in one’s back yard of Canada is recipe for trouble.

e-mail: tvenetis@canplastics.com


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