An increasingly globalized world creates newfound growth opportunities for Canadian businesses looking to expand to India. Although there are many hurdles you will face during the expansion process, effectively utilizing resources, capital and a network of investors can help you establish yourself in a new market. Culture, taxation, government policies, and trade agreements are all major considerations to analyze before committing to an expansion.

In today’s interconnected society, companies find a competitive advantage by going global. The result is an increasingly interdependent world whose citizens enjoy economic prosperity thanks to an integrated marketplace. Thankfully, many trade agreements and international relationships exist between Canada and other countries, giving Canadian entrepreneurs an important advantage when considering scaling internationally.

This article goes over some of the benefits these relationships offer, as well as some other key considerations that should definitely be on your radar while planning your expansion.

Trade Agreements and Diplomatic Relations

Canada-US Relations

If you look at how Canada and the USA do business, we are strong allies that have benefited from each other’s natural resources, pharmaceuticals, food, plastics, and more. After Canada became a member of the World Trade Organization in 1988, it established the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the USA and Mexico in 1994. The goal of NAFTA was to eliminate tariffs on goods produced by these three countries and encourage business partnerships between them. The agreement has brought much prosperity between each country and has grown by 250% since 1994. 

If you want to learn more about Canada, US, and Mexico’s trade agreements, click here: Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

Canada-India Relations

The Canada-India trade agreement is a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries. Established on September 1st, 2017, this opportunity presents new business opportunities for entrepreneurs both in Canada and India. The Agreement will create new jobs and open investment opportunities for companies in both countries by increasing access to each other’s markets, promoting regulatory transparency, improving the business environment, fostering innovation, and facilitating cross-border trade in services.

Trade agreements between countries are in place to make things easier for your business expansion, but they’re not the end-all-be-all of conducting international business. 

Taxation and Regulations

The Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is a trade agreement between the two countries. It was signed on September 18, 2017.

The CECA covers goods and services, investments, technical barriers to trade, trade in services, and intellectual property rights. It will help Canadian businesses expand their operations in India and Indian companies invest in Canada.

The business relationship between Canada and India has been evolving for decades. In 2019, two-way merchandise trade between the two countries was sitting at around 10.1 billion and decreased slightly down to 8.1 billion due to COVID-19. Canada and India are finding new ways to deepen their current partnership to make it a viable opportunity for middle-class, women, youth, and indigenous to take advantage of the trade and investment relationship.

Global business expansions can be a costly endeavour with a lot of risk involved. To help mitigate this risk, the Government of Canada has implemented tax relief measures that are designed to promote investment and trade with India. By offering incentives such as a lower corporate income tax rate or other similar programs, business between the two countries can be facilitated.

The Canada-India Tax Treaty is based on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Model Tax Convention on Income and Capital, which is a standardized model used by many countries around the world. The treaty defines what income will be taxed in each country, how it will be taxed, and what exemptions are granted for certain types of income.

Since India has a higher corporate tax rate than Canada, this treaty stipulates that Indian businesses with subsidiaries in Canada will not be subject to Indian taxes on their Canadian profits. This means that there is no need for Indian companies to pay taxes twice on their profits.

Being informed on tax and legal regulations in both markets you’re looking at is an advantage. It is recommended to consult with an international trade lawyer to understand details such as ensuring patents, IP’s, copyright laws and much more. 

We recommend reviewing the Government of Canada’s outline of the Canada-India Tax Treaty to gain more insights during your expansion planning process.

Finding Support for Canada-India Expansion

The Government of India and Canada have been providing a lot of support to Canadian businesses that are interested in expanding their operations to India.

Acceleration programs, incubators, and government support are some of the programs available to help Canadian startups expand their business in India.

The Indian government has been making efforts to improve the country’s startup ecosystem, with a focus on providing a conducive environment for international expansion.

There are many options for Canadian startups to find support in their international expansions. 

The Canadian Trade Commissioner’s office is a great place to start when outlining your expansion ideas, plans, and execution. 

For finding out more about financial support for international business expansion, please review this website: Funding and support programs for doing international business

Programs such as the Canada-India Acceleration Program (CIAP), funded by the Government of Canada, are a great option for fostering international expansion, building a network of investors, and learning important aspects of scaling your business. Outside of your time and commitment, there is absolutely no investment on your end.

If you’re interested in international trade in the long run, but it’s not in your current business plan yet, getting a certification in International Trade from FITT is something you may find of value in the interim.

Key Takeaway

International Business is a broad topic that has many details to it, and it’s becoming more accessible than ever with the right support, guidance, and connections.

It’s best to be as informed as possible before making any significant decisions. If you consult with a lawyer, utilize your network, partake in business acceleration programs/incubators, and take advantage of the government funding and resources– you will find the process much easier.

What aspect of expanding to India is the most daunting to you? What type of resources/tools would help you feel more comfortable?

Monday, February 6, 2023 in
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