Case Study #1: Canada in the Global Business Environment
Canada: A trading nation?
You are preparing for a top-level meeting between the Minister of International Trade, the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
and senior business executives representing several multinational corporations as well as a large group of small- and
medium-sized enterprises. The objective of the meeting is to discuss Canada’s strategy in responding to the changing
global business environment. Expectations are high since everyone wishes to move beyond political pronouncements
and joint statements, to specific strategies and actions. The Trade Canada Summit is raising expectations and all are
committed to motivating a call to action across major stakeholders engaged in international commerce.
While Canadians like to refer to the country as a “trading nation”—partly because of history and partly because of the
large impact of trade on the Canadian economy today, leading practitioners and senior officials recognize several
The hard reality is confronted, and one which serves as a critical backdrop for this meeting, is the realization that
by current standards, Canada does NOT qualify to be referred to as a trading nation. One point of agreement
between all parties is that Canada CAN and MUST do better.
You are a senior consultant engaged jointly by the Government and the private sector stakeholders, to guide and
facilitate the meeting and to assist in any agreed follow-on actions. Your success will be measured by the degree to
which theory and principle are translated to practical, innovative recommendations and actions, endorsed by all
parties at the Trade Canada Summit.