Canada is a market of “only” 36 million inhabitants, but with a high income and a strong propensity to spend. Machinery, infrastructure, agri-food, but also energy, chemistry and fashion are the sectors in which Italian companies are at the top for competitiveness and appreciation in the country. The opportunities for growth, development and business for our companies are immense and were recently listed by the Ambassador of Italy to Canada, Claudio Taffuri, during an interview.
“Canada is a perfect country to invest in thanks to its political and economic structure and extremely efficient. Important sectors of the Italian industry see prime prospects in the country and are often among the top companies listed as excelling. In 2020, Italy has shown great capabilities confirming the seventh position for exports to Canada, evidence of the great quality and efficiency that Italy demonstrates in Canada,” reiterated Ambassador Claudio Taffuri.
In 2020, imports of Italian goods into Canada amounted to 9 billion Canadian dollars, a decrease of 5.0% compared to the previous year, against about 3.7 billion Canadian dollars of Canadian exports to Italy. The trade balance is therefore favorable to Italy with a very significant positive balance, in the order of 5.3 billion Canadian dollars. After closing 2019 with a growth of 5%, 2020 had also started in a positive way for our country and the increase of Italian exports to Canada in the first two months of 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year was 8.6%.
Due to the pandemic, there was a slowdown in trade, however Italian trade was the most moderate decline among all of Canada’s main trading partners, after China and South Korea. The main sectors of our exports include machinery, motor vehicles and means of transport, beverages and spirits (wine in particular) and food products. In the trade analysis of the agri-food sector in Canada, Italy is the first European supplier, fourth worldwide. Imports from Canada to Italy mainly concern mining products, chemicals and machinery.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Central Bank has resumed an expansionary policy, raising the interest rate to the level of 0.25%. Low interest rates have enabled the government to carry out an expansive fiscal policy, achieving a budget deficit in 2020, equal to more than the entire amount of public spending in one year. Another relevant factor in monetary policy choices is the high rate of private debt of Canadian citizens compared to disposable income, which remains one of the highest in the world. During the pandemic, a policy of aid to the population was therefore launched, in order to reduce the risk of insolvency and bankruptcy of the private sector, with the consequent creation of public debt, but with the awareness of having saved companies, the domestic and international economy.