Why is Canada so rich

Doing business successfully in Canada: The most important rules of conduct

Canada is considered a cosmopolitan country with a strict but friendly immigration policy. The still young Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is extremely popular all over the world and thus ensures a particularly positive image of his country. The economic contacts that Germany maintains with the North American state are also extremely positive. According to the Federal Foreign Office, it exported goods worth almost ten billion euros to Germany in 2014. This makes the Federal Republic the fifth most important importer for the Canadian economy.

About 800 German companies are present in Canada - among them almost all large companies (for example Siemens, SAP or Mercedes-Benz). But even small and medium-sized companies without a local presence regularly maintain business relationships and send employees to negotiations or conferences in the country. In addition to negotiating skills, business travelers also have to prove themselves in terms of intercultural communication. Even if there is great sympathy between the two states, there are some basic rules to be observed when working together.

Many Canadians have German roots

Canada is an absolute immigrant country - of the almost 35.7 million inhabitants, 3.2 million even have German roots. The locals also come from France, Great Britain, Asia and the Middle East (see graphic). Tolerance towards minorities is therefore one of the most important pillars of Canadian society. Canadians have a strong sense of national pride and do not like to be seen as an "appendage" of the neighboring USA.

In addition, there is no such thing as “the Canadian”, but Canadians with different degrees of imprint according to their origin. Overall, the European influence is very great, which is reflected, for example, in the structure of health and social insurance. Otherwise, most regions are either strongly French (such as the province of Quebec) or Anglo-Saxon (such as the neighboring province of Ontario). Depending on the region, the official language is either French or English. For German business travelers in Canada, the decisive factor in successful communication and preparation for the foreign assignment is where the journey is going.

Business initiation by email is common

First business contacts can easily be made by email or phone. It is advisable to write the correspondence in the usual official language. In order to avoid misunderstandings right from the start, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional translation agency for the first contact inquiries. Speed ​​is the top priority, because in Canada it is customary to respond to emails as quickly as possible and not let any time pass by. Canadians also switch to first names very quickly in correspondence - but this does not automatically mean a higher level of trust.

In terms of communication style, Canadian business ticks similarly to German: Precision, directness and quick clarification of disputed points are preferred. Nevertheless, the business conduct depends on the region and industry. Germany, trade & invest (gtai) points out, for example, that an IT company from Toronto has a different business style than a traditional family company from the mining industry in Alberta. Usually, however, the hierarchies in Canadian companies are a little flatter than in this country, which means that decisions are made faster.

Different legal systems depending on the region

Business lunches are an integral part of negotiations. In addition to lunch, a business breakfast is also common. On the other hand, private invitations or business dinners are rather rare. It is not common to consume alcohol at business lunches and table manners are in keeping with European customs.

When it comes to the conclusion of a contract, business travelers should consider the different legal systems. French Quebec, for example, is based on the so-called “Civil Code” and the Anglophile provinces on “Common Law”. Because the latter is based on precedents, the treaties should be designed in such a way that there is not much room for interpretation. Here, too, it is advisable to have the contracts translated by a specialized provider. After a successful business trip and business deal, a written thank you letter should ideally follow.

Short business etiquette Canada:

Political Correctness is the be-all and end-all of maintaining a relationship, and so politeness, tolerance and openness should always be shown.

Canadians don't want to be lumped together with Americans and are proud of them national differences.

In everyday business, Professional and private strictly separated from each other.

Anyone who is asked for their opinion should alwaysstart with something positive - Canadians live by the “Think positive” principle.

The Pace of negotiation is a little faster in Canada than in Germany. Calls and emails should be answered quickly.

Even if day-to-day business seems casual, Canadians are the same performance-oriented like Germans.