Canada-Ireland Trade

Bilateral merchandise trade between Ireland and Canada is growing steadily and reached a value of CAD $2.2bn in 2015. However, the balance remains strongly tipped in favour of Ireland as demonstrated in the Canada-Ireland trade graph below.

Source: Statistics Canada

Chemical products including pharmaceuticals constitute the largest import and export categories between the two trading partners. This is not surprising given that since 2009, Ireland is the world’s net exporter of pharmaceuticals and nine out of the top ten pharmaceutical companies have substantial operations in the country. In 2015, Irish export trade with Canada reached CAD$1.7bn. Seventy percent of the exports comprised pharmaceuticals, 10% whiskey, 7% medical devices, and the remaining a mix of goods.

Source: Statistics Canada

Shared values and work practices, teamed with a number of bilateral agreements in areas such as research and development, make Irish and Canadian companies natural partners. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) recently signed between the European Union and Canada has the potential to further open access to these markets, and to facilitate freer movement of workers between both shores.

Canada receives almost 25% of Ireland’s foreign direct investment abroad, while Ireland is the fifth-largest recipient of Canadian investment. More specifically, Canada is home to some 70 Irish companies, 12 of which settled in 2012.

Opportunities in Montreal

In Montreal, there are opportunities for Irish companies with offerings to the gaming, dairy, pharmaceutical and aerospace industries.

A key factor of Irish company success is the establishment of a local entity or office.