Canadian business owners must seize the opportunities in emerging markets, which will account for 70% of global trade by the middle of the century, said Rick Waugh, president and CEO of Scotiabank at the Canadian Business Leadership Forum.
At the moment, only 8% of Canada' exports and 4% of outward investments go to those markets, according to Waugh.
Putting capital to work beyond our borders can help achieve levels of growth not possible at home, he added.
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"We can develop high-quality jobs and opportunities for Canadians, especially our trained youth."
Of course, the ability to diversify into other countries and sectors can't happen without the government, which must create the right environment for companies. This includes trade offices, missions, and communications that promote the Canadian brand.
But it's still up to the private sector to move aggressively and search for new markets.
Waugh laid out a number of strengths Canadian business have, including our banking system, a strong fiscal position, ethical business practices, and cultural diversity.
Businesses simply need to "figure out what you are good at, find your competitive advantages and put them to work."
Originally published on Advisor.ca