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Economic Opportunities in Northern and Western Ontario

Even though Toronto, as the capital city of Ontario and with a GTA population of just under 8 million people, is considered the economic engine of the province other areas also offer interesting opportunities often with less competition than what is concentrated around Toronto. In these regions Czech companies can take advantage of the lower costs associated with entry into the markets and the advantages associated with regionally strong sectors.

During his trip to Northern Ontario, a region fourteen times the size of the Czech Republic but with only a population of around one million, Consul General of the Czech Republic in Toronto Mr. Ivan Počuch met with municipal representatives charged with economic development, chambers of commerce and federal agencies whose activites are aimed at the development of Northern Ontario especially in its commerce centres of Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury.

The economy and the associated trade opportunities  in the entire region are, despite some diversification, to a large extent associated with raw materials and their processing, specifically mineral mining, lumber processing and the service industry supporting miners (especially in Sudbury which is known as ″the Capital of Mining“). The region is also getting stronger in some of the newer sectors such as industrial manufacturing (a Bombardier plant) and power engineering (power engineering clusters aimed at smart energy thanks to very cheap power). Local agencies can offer a wide range of services and support to potential investors who can benefit from the proximity of the US border and the US market.

Similarly focused meetings took place in the the main centres of Western Ontario, the cities of London and Windsor. Economy and trade oppportunites in either city are quite different. London´s economy is very diversified, combining light industry (automobile, aerospace and defence industries), strong farming and food processing industries (it is not a coincidence that it has been labeled „the kitchen of Ontario“), as well as life sciences and education (benefitting from being the site of the University of Western Ontario). 

The City of Windsor, located right on the US border across the river from Detroit, Michigan is very closely tied to the American economy (the daily volume of trade through Windsor is approximately 500 million dollars) and focuses on the automobile sector and its supplies (the city‘s dominant economic sector). Windsor is attempting to strenghthen other sectors as well , especially through cooperation with its university and by concentrating on autonomous driving and new technologies in the manufaturing industry, automobile industry and food processing, of which Windsor is a seat of many European investors due to its proximity to the American market and the fact that USMCA negotiations are nearing their end.

Consul General of the Czech Republic in Toronto Mr. Ivan Počuch who visited the above places during the month of October confirms these conclusions: "while Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area are the main economic centre of Canada, there is a significant  competitive environment. Often times other parts of Ontario can offer  promising, less typical and more accesible  opportunities for Czech companies both in the area of trade and investment. We now have a range of contacts available  that Czech companies can take advantage of".

The Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Toronto will be happy to provide further information about trade and investement opportunities  in Northern and Western Ontario to intereted parties  (commerce_toronto@mzv.cz).


Consul General and Ian Wood, Director of Economic Development of City of Greater Sudbury