Kathy Jenkins in centre
Kathy Jenkins
Group Chief Executive - Marshall of Cambridge

Transparency and Support for FDI in Canada

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  1. The different kinds of support available to foreign companies in Canada make it easy for them to establish themselves and get operations going quickly.
  2. The availability of key talent in Canada across multiple specialties and fields allows foreign companies to reliably hire excellent teams to run their businesses.
  3. Good communication and transparency from support systems and programs give foreign companies more confidence in setting up operations.


Foreign companies are looking for investment destinations with high levels of transparency and good support systems. With a ton of support programs and initiatives to spur innovation, Canada has made itself an attractive destination that foreign investors can place their confidence in.

What does Marshall of Cambridge do and why is it expanding in Canada? 

Marshall of Cambridge is the UK’s largest independent defense and aerospace contractor. We have operated in the UK for over a hundred years. We have an international footprint that has largely come from our export business, but we also have programs and activities in Northern Europe and Canada, and we are building out across North America. 

We are already in Canada with our aerospace business and have been for a long time now. That has been successful for us and our relationship with Canada goes back a long time. We have another business in our portfolio which is land systems. Over the last few years, we have been building that business through projects in Canada and we are working with a new set of partners on a new opportunity. That is the area of focus for our growth.

What makes Canada a good place for foreign direct investment compared to other locations? 

The secret to doing business in any country is openness and transparency of dialogue. That needs to be a given. In Canada, things like Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) and Invest in Canada (IIC) are all helping us to coalesce our thinking on how we progress quickly.

“There has been a lot of support available to us as a foreign company in Canada.”

There has been a lot of support available to us as a foreign company in Canada. It also helps that we already have a presence and team in Canada. We are established and quite well known in this sector.

What kind of support did you receive to expand your presence in Canada?

It is still early days but there are a number of supports. We have to think about our physical infrastructure, so there has been a lot of support as we were looking for where to put our roots down, how we build, and how we get our resources.

There is also a piece on how we deliver on our operations. The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster has been good in terms of shaping our thinking. In our domestic environment, we have done a lot in the innovation space, and so it is important that we are able to continue that in Canada. Federal innovation programs are helping us think through how we apply that experience in a different context.

How would you assess the availability of talent in Canada?

I have been involved in Canada for probably about a decade. There is a lot of talent and capability in Canada in key areas such as operations, engineering, and management. Canada is a labour market that is rich actually in terms of capability.

We have done a lot of work in New Brunswick that has confirmed what I just described. Canada has the same challenges as a lot of other countries do in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and being able to apply those capabilities. However, through things like Marshall of Cambridge’s apprenticeship programs and the work we do to attract and develop capability, I am confident that we can make the progress we need to build the business.

What kind of benefits do foreign investors bring to a community or business ecosystem? 

Foreign investors bring new businesses, employment, and opportunities to a community. There are always things that a business can learn from a community but this also works both ways. We will learn a lot in Canada. That relationship will work out well for us here as Canada has been great for us.

“We are excited about the possibility of engaging with Canadian small businesses to be a part of our supply chains.”

In terms of supply chains, most of our supply chains in the UK are deliberately focused on small and medium-sized enterprises. That has worked really well for us and that is something else we can do in Canada. We are excited about the possibility of engaging with Canadian small businesses to be a part of our supply chains. Also, international business attracts more international business. That is another thing that we hope to do from our Canadian base.

Any final thoughts to share? 

We are just really excited about being here. Those of us who have worked with Canadian businesses know that this is a fantastic opportunity. There have always been close links between the UK and Canada as well as close links between Marshall and Canada. There is a lot that we can do here. Having done our research and had some experience, we just want to get going. We are really excited to get started.

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Kathy Jenkins in centre
Kathy Jenkins
Group Chief Executive - Marshall of Cambridge

Bio: Kathy Jenkins is the Group Chief Executive of Marshall of Cambridge. She joined the company in 2017 as the Group HR Director and was subsequently promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2019. She has held a wide range of senior roles across a number of varied sectors including the oil, construction, electronics, transportation, aerospace, defence, and security sectors. Before joining Marshall, she spent 14 years with Thales Group.

Organization Profile: Marshall of Cambridge is an aircraft and specialist vehicle maintenance, modification, and design company. Initially starting with vehicle repair and dealership activities, the company ventured into military and defence applications during the Second World War. Traditionally focused on military clientele, Marshall of Cambridge is now branching out to cater to the civilian sector as well.