Information & Communications Technology Sector

If your business is in Canada’s information and communications technologies (ICT) sector, Canada’s free trade agreements are creating opportunities for firms like yours.

Canadian ICT manufacturing and services companies are looking beyond the border for new business opportunities, and they are finding them: exports are growing rapidly, especially in the Asia-Pacific region and European Union. Further, international companies are finding that Canadian ICT companies make great partners.

Consisting mainly of small and medium-sized companies, Canada’s ICT sector generated $168 billion in revenues in 2011 and is recognized as a world leader in many areas. The sector is an important part of the Canadian economy, contributing almost 4 percent of Canada’s GDP and employing over 465,000 Canadians.

The Government of Canada is working to ensure that the needs of ICT companies are addressed in government-to-government commercial agreements such as free trade agreements (FTAs) and foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs).

For example:

  • Canadian exports of ICT equipment to Colombia were subject to tariffs of up to 20 percent before the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement took effect in August 2011. Now, nearly 94 percent of these goods are duty-free, and the remainder will be duty-free by 2015.
  • Canadian negotiators on the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) are seeking greater access to the information and technology services market in the EU. Addressing current barrier issues in CETA will reduce market-access restrictions in Europe, giving service providers better, more predictable and secure access to this huge market.
  • The Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (in effect since August 2009) eliminates tariffs (which ranged up to 12 percent) on Canadian ICT products and services. Particularly valuable opportunities exist as Peru continues to develop its ICT infrastructure.

For more information about new international business opportunities and how Canada’s FTAs and FIPAs can help your company in a particular market, please contact a trade commissioner or check out the Trade Commissioner Service website.