“The story that’s not getting told is that there is growth, and growth potential”
Export Development Canada’s Chief Economist, Peter Hall, told a crowded room of breakfast attendees in Edmonton last week.
The recent EDC event, Let’s Talk Exports, was a great chance to discuss some of the opportunities that exist in the global marketplace in the second half of 2016 and into 2017.
Spoiler alert: There’s good news.
If you’re surprised to hear that, you’re not alone. Global uncertainty in the marketplace has been highlighted by the media for a number of reasons. Instability in the Euro-Zone, as well as questions surrounding the Russian economy and other BRIC nations, such as Brazil and China, have led observers to question what lies ahead for world markets.
In Canada alone, the $100 billion dollar export economy was almost cut in half last year. There is no doubt that a large percentage of this drop off can be attributed to the free fall of oil prices, however, uncertainty in other sectors has seen exports decline as well.
Despite all this, Peter Hall sees plenty of opportunity on a global scale, with industries like machining equipment, energy services, and agriculture expected to see the most substantial growth – Good news for industrial businesses.
The United States housing market is already showing promising signs. After taking a dramatic hit in the 2008 crash, new home construction fell from 2 million new homes per year in 2007 to roughly half a million per year after the crash. Last year, however, 1.2 million new homes were built in the US, which is a strong indication of the willingness to spend increasing in the US.
As well, an emerging middle class is gaining strength in China as it shifts from a traditional export economy to a more consumer based population. With a massive population of new consumers, the opportunities for manufacturers and exporters in North America are already presenting themselves. For example, the lobster industry in the Canadian Maritimes shipped 100 million pounds of lobster to China in 2014.
By 2015 that number almost tripled.
This is welcome news for businesses operating in the manufacturing, distribution, and industrial services industries. Opportunity exists, though in a changing global marketplace businesses may need to look outside of their traditional markets for continued growth.
“Diversification is usually something we wish we had, but it’s never too late,” says Peter Hall. “There is a tremendous amount of opportunity to do that.”
Going forward, businesses with a strategy in place to identify new markets are best positioned to succeed. As we move towards 2017 the global economy offers plenty of growth potential for industrial businesses able to adapt to the changing marketplace.
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About Martha Boulianne
You'll find Martha digging into content, design, and business processes on a daily basis. She has spent her professional life developing skills in digital design and online marketing and spends her time not at work charging around after her family and making things.