Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, is on a two–day trip to San Francisco to woo IT companies to set up shop in Canada. He visited AppDirect, a cloud subscriptions company, and met Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, on 8 February and is also slated to meet Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO.
AppDirect, which established offices in Calgary and Montreal, had promised to invest $2 billion in Canada during the next five years and create 300 jobs for locals there.
Trudeau said that he planned to persuade Bezos to establish Amazon’s second headquarters in Toronto. He was quoted by San Francisco Chronicle as saying that he was feeling upbeat about the interest that global companies were evincing in Canada. He added that the companies would benefit by investing in Canada, as it has highly talented workers.
Trudeau’s trip gains significance in the backdrop of the Trump administration’s plans to limit H-1B visas. With some US immigrants on tenterhooks about the time being increased for them to apply for permanent residency, they are looking at Canada as a promising alternative.
To tap this talent, the government of Canada had also come up with the ‘global skills strategy visa’, a fast-track work permit of two weeks.
Meanwhile, quite a few Silicon Valley companies such as Apple, Uber and Slack, among others have grown their operations in Canada by setting up new offices or through acquisitions over 2017. Startups are reportedly also mulling options of moving to Canada to overcome US visa hurdles and to avoid expensive overheads in the Bay Area.
Dylan Serota, Terminal co-founder, said that by relocating to Canada, the US companies will benefit as it is close to the US and its time zone is also similar to theirs.
Trudeau said that importing talent from all over the world profits the companies as well Canada and its economy.
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