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Ottawa wants closer ties with Asia

Apart from being Canada’s administrative capital, Ottawa is working to increase its impact on the country’s economy as the federal government maps out a vision to become a major stakeholder in Asia’s economic development.

With one of the highest numbers of technology companies in the country, Ottawa is the leading city in economic diversity as ranked by the Martin Prosperity Institute.

InvestOttawa aims to reposition the city not only as the seat of government, but also a technology hub for Asia. Through its sister city ties with Beijing, Ottawa has openly promoted itself as an ideal investment destination for Asia’s clean technology companies and startups.

Funded by the Beijing municipal government, the ZDG incubation center, located at InvestOttawa’s head office, provides startups in the city with the network and guidance needed to enter the Chinese market.

While innovation is clearly the recurring theme in Canada’s campaign to raise its global competitiveness, there already have been companies in the city that have been ahead of this curve for years.

C-Com Satellite Systems is a prime example of how an immigrant benefitted from the superb education of Canada and created technology that benefitted the rest of the world. The company produces mobile satellite systems used for wireless Internet, communications and mobile banking.

The company’s technology has become particularly attractive to governments that need portable and extremely durable mobile satellite systems for use in disaster situations and far-flung regions anywhere in the world.

Ottawa’s business environment is certainly ripe for more investment from Asia, and the city’s efforts to spread the word seem to be working.

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Canada 2015 was prepared for and originally printed in Forbes Asia magazine.

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