2010/2011 Task Force on Building a Global Network of Canadians Abroad
François Vincent, Kyle Hill, Adam Goldenberg, Mark Podlasly, Erin Spink, Phillippe Ouellette
Advisor: Antonia Maioni
Nearly three million Canadians live and work abroad. Many of them are highly educated, highly skilled, and highly connected. They are a vast untapped resource for trade promotion and export development. Transformations in the global economy – and Canada‘s place in it – make it more important than ever to consider the role of expatriates in the Canadian economy.
Canada is now facing our deepest trade deficits in three decades. In emerging giants like China and India, our share of the import market has not kept pace with economic growth – or with our competitors. Canadians live and work in these countries. They have personal and professional networks that could benefit Canadian businesses seeking a toehold overseas. How can we, as a country, make better use of Canada‘s talent abroad?
Our Task Force proposal begins to answer that question. We propose an international business network for Canada, to connect successful, well-placed Canadian expats with Canadian businesses, for mutual benefit. Other jurisdictions – including Australia, Chile and Scotland – have built powerful networks of their citizens abroad, which they use to expand trade and investment opportunities, enhance business development, and advance their interests. Canada should do the same.