Identifying the Next Generation of Canadian Priority Markets - A Preliminary Analysis

Prepared for DFATD by the Conference Board of Canada
October 2012

Canada’s traditional trade partners – including the US, much of Western Europe, and other advanced economies – plus the emerging economic powerhouses of Brazil, India, and China will continue to represent the most significant long-term potential for Canadian businesses. Canada’s global commerce strategy should necessarily focus on these usual suspects, but also consider the “next generation” of countries that could represent potential for Canadian businesses.

This preliminary analysis finds a fresh list (see Table) of additional, “next generation” economies that might represent economic potential for Canada going forward, despite being relatively modestly engaged with Canada at present. Our method is based on available economic data that proxies both Canadian business potential (two-way trade and two-way investment) and country growth potential.

We consider countries with a minimum economic and demographic size, and then look for those countries that hit our “sweet spot” of high growth potential and high Canadian business potential. We also include in our list countries that represent important growth potential and at least some Canadian business potential. The list is a starting point for policymakers to consider possible priority economic potential markets, which they can then put through relevant political and other filters.

Table. Countries in the Sweet Spot or With Growth Potential
CountryGDP (2011, US$ billions)Population (2011, millions)Country growth potential index (0-100, higher is better)Canadian business potential index (0-100, higher is better)
Sweet spot
Chile248172731
Hungary140102326
Indonesia8462413415
Kazakhstan178172512
Mexico1,1551143760
Peru174302322
Republic of Korea1,116494553
South Africa408512613
Taiwan467232512
Growth potential
Argentina44841319
Colombia32846278
Egypt23679265
Malaysia27929307
Poland51438314
Russia1,850142549
Saudi Arabia57828327
Thailand34664288
Turkey77874299
Vietnam12389273

Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; World Bank.

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