Upgrade your technologies to compete in China: HSBC

Plenty of opportunities for Canadian companies but technology is the differentiator.

OTTAWA — Canadian manufacturers doing business in China must make technology upgrading a priority if they are to keep pace with Chinese and foreign companies, says a a report commissioned by HSBC Bank Canada.

It warns that companies outside Canada doing business globally are rapidly enhancing their technologies. How willing and how fast Canadian companies are able to adjust their operations will be vital for keeping Canada competitive in an increasingly globalized marketplace.

Shifting Chinese Demand: New Opportunities for Canadian Companies says commodities will comprise a large share of Chinese imports, but the country’s shift to a consumption-led model that meets the needs of a growing middle class will increase demand for many goods and services.

Linda Seymour, executive vice-president and head of commercial banking at HSBC Bank Canada, said China is one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world and is forecast to grow at 6.5% compared to Canada’s 2% through 2017. It’s a clear opportunity for Canadian companies.”

Hatch Ltd., a provider of advisory, engineering, procurement, construction management and technology services based in Mississauga, Ont., has been operating in China since 1999.

“In Canada, we might help a client design something new based on a range of possibilities; in China the emphasis needs to be changed to one that shows we are bringing a technology to bear that addresses the client’s needs but is not otherwise available,” said Joe Lombard, managing director, metals at Hatch.

The company’s technology was used to develop the QSLIC industrial complex,(China;s largest producer of Potash) in Qinghai that features the world’s largest
state-of-the-art magnesium and calcium carbide smelter.

Lombard said the company’s biggest differentiator is not low cost, but the in-house proprietary technologies it offers.

The report found Canada has global strengths in the following services sectors that are projected to face rising Chinese demand: personal, cultural, and recreational; technical; financial; and computer and information.

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