Canadian Businesses in China Profitable and Planning to Expand: Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Survey

September 9, 2014 – Vancouver, BC – Many Canadian firms conducting business with China are profitable and plan to expand in the country, according to a new poll released by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada).

Over three-fifths (64%) of the survey respondents indicated that their businesses with China was either profitable or very profitable in the last business year, and the vast majority (84%) said that they were planning to expand their China operations.

“The results of this survey are encouraging as China is Canada’s second largest trading partner and represents a growing market for Canadian business,” said Dr. Eva Busza, Vice-President, Knowledge and Research, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. “Although the firms we polled did express concerns about China’s recent economic slowdown and increasing competition, they are still pressing ahead with developing their businesses in China.”

Of the 229 businesses surveyed, 43% said that the increasing risk of China’s economic slowdown was one of the key changes in the country’s business environment in the last year. The concern about an economic slowdown was greater among large enterprises with over 500 employees (52%) than small- and medium-sized enterprises (38%). Over 42% of the firms surveyed said that foreign (i.e. non-Chinese) competitors are getting stronger in China.

When asked about the greatest barriers to doing business in China, the respondents rated inconsistent interpretation of regulations and laws, weak dispute settlement mechanisms, lengthy and complicated certification, and intellectual property rules and practices as the top obstacles.

This year, in response to previous findings that the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) is one of the most significant barriers for foreign firms doing business in China, the survey asked a series of questions regarding the firms’ experience with intellectual property issues. According to the survey, 11% of respondents reported experiencing an IPR violation in the last five years. The most commonly mentioned strategies for addressing IPR issues were registering intellectual property (40%) and use of non-disclosure agreements (38%).

The full results of the survey can be found online at

The survey was conducted in cooperation with the Canada-China Business Council and with the support of Air China.

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About the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) has been a leader in research and analysis on Canada’s relations with Asia for thirty years. Our mission is to develop ideas for action by Canadian businesses, governments, and individuals to help them seize the vast opportunities unfolding in Asia. We do this by offering clear, specific, and actionable policy advice and leadership based on sound research and analysis. APF Canada’s current thematic priorities include trade and investment, energy and the environment, and international education. Engaged in research and convening, APF Canada has developed strong ties with policy-makers, business leaders, academics, and opinion makers in Canada and throughout the Asia Pacific region. Visit APF Canada at  

For more information please contact:

Jillian Oliver 
Communications Manager
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Office: 604-630-1536

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