WESTERN CANADA’S EXPORTS: CAUSES AND IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGING COMPETITIVENESS IN KEY MARKETS

This report surveys the export performance of Western Canadian goods producers for the period 1995 to 2007. During that period Canada’s GDP growth outpaced export growth, but Western Canada’s exports grew at a faster rate than Canada’s exports overall, resulting in increased weight of Western exports in Canada’s total. As well, Western Canada’s exports have shifted significantly towards the NAFTA markets of US and Mexico. The composition of products exported from the West and the individual provinces is shown in detail. Each province is found to have unique export strengths. During the observation period, B.C.’s exports were the most volatile and Manitoba’s the least, but overall the provincial economies of Alberta and Saskatchewan were the most volatile. The causes of volatility in export revenues can be traced to the natural resource nature of the exports: energy, forestry, and agricultural products, and minerals are all subject to price and exchange rate fluctuations. The report shows a particularly disappointing export performance for Western Canada’s producers in Asian markets, a fact which gives rise to concerns about the future in light of a slowing world economy. And had it not been for Alberta’s energy exports, Western Canada’s market share in the US would have decreased. One of the key implications of the report is the need to address the vulnerability of Western Canada’s exports to market erosion and continued volatility. To this end the report develops a method to identify priorities for trade negotiations with countries that represent significant markets for Western exporters. A number of these are currently providing preferential access to some of our biggest competitors in these markets through their own bilateral or regional free trade agreements. Recommendations thus follow on the most important trade agreements which Canada should pursue.


Issue Date:
2008-12
Publication Type:
Report
DOI and Other Identifiers:
978-1-55195-906-1 (Other)
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/60430
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/60430
Total Pages:
75
Series Statement:
Information Bulletins
118




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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