Tuesday, July 10, 2007
IT Canada reports that US-based Microsoft Corporation announced that it will establish a research facility in Canada, employing between 300 to 400 people from around the world. The move is, undoubtedly, a reaction to the failure of US immigration reform plans, which would have increased the H-1B visa cap significantly. It may also be a move away from cost-cutting and outsourcing that has seen jobs exported to India and other low-labour cost destinations. However, given that Canadian labour costs are considerably higher than in developing nations, and productivity in Canada is sagging, it remains to be seen if this is the beginning of a trend to be followed by otter companies. Research and development has never been a strenght in the Canadian labour market, and save and except a few notable exceptions, it is not a hallmark of the Canadian economy. But having a research facility close to the US headquarters, in a country with similar work patterns, without language or cultural barriers, and even in the same timezone can be a definite advantage. Visalaw International lawyers Greg Siskind and Sergio Karas were interviewed for IT Canada on this issue.