Who Will Drive Canadian Export Growth?

Canada needs more analysts than international trade professionals, so who will drive 6% export growth predicted by EDC?

Recently the results of two very promising studies have been revealed.
First of all, EDC’s Global Export Forecast. Based on justifiable and realistic global macroeconomic factors EDC economists assure us that we expect 5% export growth in 2012 and 6% in 2013. If we look at the industry prospective, the numbers are even more promising. We expect double digit growth in agri-food, energy, forestry, fertilizers, machinery and equipment and automotive sectors. In terms of export markets the export to emerging markets will grow at much higher pace than that to the USA.
It is a pleasant fact that the recent CME Survey confirms these findings. According to this year’s members survey Canadian manufacturers consider new export markets outside North America in 3 years, and yes, they expect export growth at those markets.

So what’s a problem? No problem, only great news.Just one little known detail. There must be resources available to support this growth. All resources: materials, time, financial and HUMAN RESOURCES – those who will, or are supposed to, drive the growth. Let’s look at the international business development HR closely. How many new employees are demanded in international trade as opposed to other occupations (below is the number of open position in Canada advertised at Workopolis.com as of November 15, 2012 searched by job title)?
  • Export – 7 open positions
  • Import – 6 open positions
  • International – 31 open positions
  • Global – 55 open positions
  • Trade – 6 open positions
  • Logistics – 135 open positions
  • Freight – 15 open positions
  • Transportation – 13 open positions
  • Transport – 6 open positions
  • Customs – 6 open positions
  • Compliance – 2 open positions
  • TOTAL: 282 open positions

Just compare with following numbers:

  • Developer – 641 open positions
  • Analyst – 1519 open positions
  • Financial – 732 open positions

Perhaps there is a hidden job market, but these numbers clearly depict the situation. The Canadian economy needs more analysts than international trade professionals. 


Interestingly enough the other research, FITT’s “Human Resources: A Vital Driver of Canadian International Trade Capacity and Capability” also identifies the need of Canadian businesses to employ skilled international trade labor. The study recommends making businesses aware of the international business training opportunities, best practices, and other actions.

Thus, all studies confirm that there is a need in skilled international trade labor on a macroeconomic level. But if there is a need, WHERE IS THE DEMAND ON INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE LABOR? Why the number of open position is so ridiculously low?

There is a classic gap between the demand and supply in this sector of labor market. There is no scientific evidence but according to PayScale below is the comparison between average annual pay of international business employees and those of other sectors.

  • Logistics Coordinator C$30,263 – C$57,297
  • Ocean Export Coordinator C$29,374 – C$48,206
  • Export Sales Manager C$43,000 – C$100,000
  • Financial Analyst C$39,908 – C$76,155
  • Business Analyst IT C$45,134 – C$89,907
  • Business Development Manager C$43,427 – C$116,323

Don’t get confused, logistics coordinator is as smart as financial analyst, the first one just happens to work in the industry where the demand is lower that the supply. Market laws can’t be ignored nor altered.

Bottom line? Until there is a clear and growing demand on skilled Canadian international trade labor our long terms export growth is a big concern.

P.S. Share in the comments below your experience hiring international business professionals. 

P.P.S. Find out here how you can outsource your export/import management right now.

Originally published in our former blog at http://exportimporsuccess.blogspot.ca/2012/11/who-will-drive-canadian-export-growth.html