TORONTO — Shopify’s founder Tobi Lutke says Canadians shouldn’t be too quick to celebrate the expansion of U.S. tech giants in Canada.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, he says that many Canadians want foreign technology brands to enter the market, but their expansion to the country can have some unwanted consequences.
He says the companies that open branch offices in Canada often create value, but it goes back to the U.S.
When U.S. businesses open in Canada, he says many of them poach the country’s top talent, causing salaries to increase, but making it difficult for smaller Canadian companies to compete.
Lutke’s remarks came weeks after Uber Technologies Inc. announced a new engineering hub and a $200-million expansion of its self-driving vehicle centre in Toronto and as Amazon Inc. is growing its network of warehouses in the country and expanding its Vancouver technology hub.
Lutke recommends Canada build its tech sector and keep homegrown businesses from heading elsewhere by coming up with an intellectual property strategy and setting goals to triple the number of Canadian firms earning $100 million in annual revenue from 58 to 172.