Making it easier for the world to do business with Ontario

How would you describe the Japan-Canada relationship in this important Anniversary year?Japan and Canada have always had a strong relationship and share similar values. In fact, the Canadian and Japanese governments have signed several agreements and MOUs over the years that reinforce our shared stance on innovation.

There are currently 74 sister city/sister province relationships between Canada and Japan and 14 of those cities are in Ontario. Ontario’s Japanese-Canadian community creates a natural connection for fostering trade and investment opportunities between our two regions. Approximately 42,000 Ontarians are of Japanese origin, and the province opened its investment and trade office in Tokyo in 2006, showcasing the importance of our relationship with Japan.

How well positioned is Ontario to attract ‘new’ Japanese investment and encourage Japanese investors already in Ontario to re-invest in the province?

Japanese companies have invested U.S.$9.44B in Ontario from 2003 to 2017, and the province continues to view Japan as a priority market.

Key Japanese companies that are already in Ontario include Toyota, Mitsubishi, Toshiba and Honda, so when you choose to do business in the province, you will be among other successful Japanese investors who have already unlocked much of Ontario’s value.

Ontario is one of the best places to grow a business. With a highly skilled workforce, one of the world’s top technology clusters, competitive business costs, and a high quality of life, the province is ripe for growth.

Ontario’s abundance of talent is some of the best in the world. We produce graduates that are poised to shape the ideas and advances of tomorrow. In fact, there are over 3,000 international students from Japan currently studying in Ontario, and many top Japanese universities such as the University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto and Osaka University have partnerships with Ontario’s University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Queens University.

What steps is Ontario taking (the public sector) to position the province as the leading investment destination for Japanese and Asian investment?

Our top priority is to make it easier for the world to do business with Ontario. We are cutting business costs and reducing the regulatory burdens placed on companies, creating an environment where investment can thrive.

The provincial government has set an aggressive target to cut business red tape by 25 percent and has launched a plan to remove barriers to job creation in about a dozen sectors.

Ontario also offers an array of incentive programs and services that can lower corporate taxes and help businesses save on the costs of labor, research and development, and expansion.

Lastly, firms that choose to invest in Ontario can have confidence in our long-term political and economic stability. Ontario is at the center of one of the most stable and competitive business climates in the world, which is an important aspect of growing a company.

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