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Superb business milieu and policies make Ontario the next R&D hub

Earlier this month, fDi Intelligence published the 2017/18 American Cities of the Future report featuring the most promising inbound FDI locations across the Americas. According to the report, the biggest movement in this year’s ranking is seen among Canadian locations. Toronto has risen from sixth to fourth place, with its share of total Canadian FDI held relatively steady at about one-third. Apart from Toronto, fifteen other cities in Ontario have also made it to the list of North America's best cities for investment.

Ontario's competitive business environment, superior talent, as well as unparalleled quality of life have continued to attract investors. As Canada's most populous province, Ontario accounts for 38% of Canada's total GDP and 39% of population, and takes an absolute lead in the country's advanced industries such as finance and ICT.

According to Deloitte Canada CSG Director Loretta Yuen, who has recently reappointed by the Ontario government as its International Investment Development Representative, Ontario’s many great advantages include:

  • Excellent access to the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) $21 trillion marketplace and the recently signed Free Trade Agreement with the EU market.
  • Competitive business costs; one of the lowest labor costs amongst the G7 countries.
  • The availability of a highly skilled, diverse and educated workforce, including Mandarin/English speaking experienced professionals and new graduates. The level of tertiary education attainment in Ontario is 66% (Canada 65%), which ensures good quality of talents for local business operations.
  • One of the most attractive research and development tax credit systems among all G7 countries, which can reduce the after-tax costs for every $100 in R&D spending to approximately $61, or $37 for small business. (Huawei has established its North American R&D center in Ottawa with over 400 engineers)
  • High quality extensive infrastructure combined with strategic location, integrates seamlessly with the US systems; close proximity to 142 million American consumers within a day’s drive, 14 convenient border crossings, and international airport with non-stop flights to 47 US and 76 international cities.
  • A strong, stable and diverse economy with a business friendly government
  • A broad and diverse economic base with several competitive clusters across the province.
  • Universal healthcare system.

Ms. Yuen recently visited China on behalf of the Ontario government with the mandate to attract FDI from Greater China to Ontario mainly in the following “encouraged” sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Clean tech
  • Food & beverages
  • Life sciences
  • ICT and digital media
  • Business services

During her trip to China, Ms. Yuen met with prospective investors in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing, and attended a seminar on Doing Business in China at Deloitte Beijing office for an ICT trade mission led by the Ontario Ministry of International Trade, trading insights with other Deloitte professionals and Anthony Finch, First Secretary (Commercial) and Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. Prior to Beijing, Ms. Yuen gave a presentation about her role and its mandates at the Shanghai office to a team of tax professionals, the audit leader from Hangzhou office and a Toronto FA manager currently seconded to Shanghai.

"It has been a pleasure to introduce potential investors to Ontario's many great advantages, and to inform Deloitte colleagues of how to assist clients investing in North America using Ontario as a gateway and leveraging Deloitte's close relationship with one of Canada’s largest provincial governments," said Ms. Yuen. "I look forward to partaking in more exchange like this during my next trip to China with GCSG's support.”

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