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The Grand Tour tests Canada

Culture · 6 min read

The Grand Tour: Getting Testy in Canada

In this episode, the team head for the mountainous landscapes of western Canada. Their mission: to find out whether “all medium-sized SUVs are dreary and drab and rubbish.”

Jeremy Clarkson is in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Richard Hammond’s driving a Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Pack and James May is behind the wheel of a Range Rover Velar. The boys will test the cars’ sporting side at a race track, and their utilitarian side with some enormous dogs before ending with an epic race across snowy mountains.

And while The Grand Tour team tear round Canada in their SUVs, DHL Express will be taking a look at the business potential in this land of vast distances and rich natural beauty.

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An economy the size of the nation 

We think of Canada as “that friendly country to the north of the US.” It’s sometimes easy to forget that it is also absolutely huge. Canada is the second largest country in the world with an economy to match. It has a GDP of US$1,530bn, the world’s fourth highest level of natural resources (valued at US$33.2trn in 2016), and it is widely recognized as one of the most stable economies in the world.

An open country that's open for business 

Canada’s friendly attitude extends to the way it trades globally. It has enjoyed a particularly warm relationship with its neighbor and did a grand total of US$627.8bn worth of trade with the US in 2016. It has forged strong links with the booming Asian economies too. Once The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement comes into full force, Canada will have preferential access to a vibrant market with a combined GDP of nearly US$41trn.

Looking for an educated workforce? 

Justin Trudeau isn’t the only bright spark on the Canadian horizon. According to the World Economic Forum, Canada has one the best educated workforces in the world. Over half of its population have attained higher-level qualifications. It’s also producing the business leaders of tomorrow – Canada is ranked second highest in the G7 nations for the standard of its management education.

Meet a friend to international trade

OK, so the mercury can plummet to -2°F (-18°C), but Canada has one of the world’s best climates for entrepreneurs. The Global Entrepreneurship Index ranked Canada third on a list of 137 nations. The low cost of running a business here gives Canada a competitive edge over the US, the UK, Australia, Germany and Japan. And a recent KPMG report acknowledged Canada’s tax structure as being “the most business-friendly in the developed world.”

The resources to prosper

Given Canada’s vast mineral wealth, it’s unsurprising that the oil and gas industries are still rich seams of opportunity. E-commerce has seen unstoppable growth too – more than half of the population buy goods and services online, and the market is now worth over US$15bn. Research & Development is also thriving due to Canada’s best-in-class tax incentives for companies working within this sector. 

For Clarkson, May and Hammond, Canada was a decent SUV testing ground. But for many investors and entrepreneurs, Canada is already a tried-and-tested success. 

Watch episode 10 now, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.