I recently spoke at a Toronto French Business Network (TFBN) event. It reminded me that France is Canada’s third largest trading partner, accounting for CAD $8.1 billion total trade in 2014. Of course, not all companies that originate from French speaking countries are from France. There are 29 nations that list French as their official language. The newly formed TFBN is seeking to tap into the local French business community. Click here to view their LinkedIn.
Mississauga is home to dozens of French based businesses. For instance, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Canada Inc., the Canadian affiliate of France’s Ipsen recently opened its new Canadian headquarters in Mississauga. The global biopharmaceutical company has joined Mississauga’s growing biomedical cluster and deliver innovative specialty medicines based on Ipsen’s expertise and leadership in peptide and toxin research and drug development.Other French based multinationals located in Mississauga include; Genzyme Canada Inc., Mersen Canada, Nedco, Schneider Electric and Westburne Electrical Inc., to name a few.
There is an increased interest in the Canadian market from France. The historic Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is one of Canada’s most ambitious trade initiative, broader in scope and deeper in ambition than the historic North American Free Trade Agreement. The massive free trade pact between Canada and the European Union will, for the most part, be a done deal in one year even if it is not fully ratified, says Europe’s top envoy. The EU ambassador to Canada, recently said the final text of the comprehensive deal, will be presented to the European Parliament by mid-2016.