As foreign competition heats up in Canada’s construction market, our companies involved must seek more ways to do business abroad too.
Canada’s economic resilience and strong construction pipeline have attracted many foreign players to bid on Public Private Partnership projects here. As well, Canada is increasing its northern development, attracting investors from India, Brazil, China and other growing markets.
Engineers and builders from those countries are also looking to capitalize on their relationships with firms back home who are investing in Canada. And as the U.S. economy picks up, new construction projects will emerge there, which foreign players with experience in Canada will be well placed to pursue.
What does all that mean for the Canadian construction industry? Some of our companies already realize that to stay competitive at home they must replicate the strategies of others: develop relationships abroad so they can bid on projects beyond North America; and bring the experience back home to stay relevant in Canada, since globalization makes them more competitive.
Canadian companies can accelerate innovation, for instance, by partnering in foreign markets. By integrating new approaches with Canadian know-how, the result is often improved construction methods that lead to costs savings, new structures and better ways of dealing with climatic and geological conditions.
Another example lies in partnering with foreign players that have strengths in areas that can help Canadian firms leapfrog ahead, such as in new technology or in becoming a one-stop-shop. Thirdly, companies can secure long-term relationships by following key clients to new markets.
Like the manufacturing and services sectors, our construction industry too needs to embrace globalisation more. Pressure is also mounting to comply with new requirements such as life-cycle cost reductions, energy and water efficiencies and integration of digital technology.
EDC can facilitate introductions to foreign players through our international network and can provide financial support for acquisition and expansion abroad.