This year has been a year of changes on many levels globally, and for companies these have formed both opportunities and threats, and most of all a need to learn how these changes affect the market attractiveness to make informed decisions. However, as HE Heather Grant the Ambassador of Canada to Sweden in her opening speech expressed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA) is a very progressive free trade agreement that by eliminating tariffs and reducing barriers is a mutual good for both Canada and Sweden. This sentiment was shared by Agneta Karlsson, State Secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs that reminded us that both nation share an interest in an open trade-friendly world order and strive for progress in the healthcare area for all citizens.
The seminars started with on overview of the Canadian Healthcare sector by Ebba Hult from Business Sweden where she showed the solid growth of imports of Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals to Canada, so while the Canadian market is still a relatively small importer of Swedish solutions with heavy reliance on USA and Germany, this sector is a growing market for Swedish companies to export to. So regardless of the free trade agreement the macroeconomic factors are in favor.
Didier Culat and Tuba Yamac from BCF business law then explained how companies should prepare for entering the Canadian market and how CETA effects life science companies, with Tuba focusing mainly on the changes in Intellectual Property procedures and changes, and how differences and harmonization effects companies in USA, Canada, UK and EU. So while the central aspects had to do with elimination of custom tariffs and controlling the origins of the products, there were lots of lessons learnt on things to consider upon a North American entry regarding labour mobility, sub-national procurement opportunities and how to strategically select your company location depending on which markets you are targeting. With Quebec and Ontario having the largest life science clusters and getting the bulk of investments it was pleasing to hear from the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs that Annika Strandhäll will head to Toronto in May 2018.
Bienvenue au Canada! Welcome to Canada!