That and 50 cents will get you a house on the Bridle Path

An otherwise gloomy Report on Business article on the Canadian economy searches hard, and finds a silver lining:

The bright spot is that companies are diversifying away from the U.S. Three-quarters of Canadian exports go to the U.S., down from 81 per cent five years ago.

Bright indeed. Diversification has its proponents. Where is Canada growing its share? The emerging superpowers of India and China, perhaps? Or:

Canadian trade with Russia has more than doubled in the past decade and exports to new markets such as Slovakia, Oman and Zambia are surging this year.

Yes, that’s right. Trade with Zambia, for example, has jumped from $13.8 million in the first nine months of 2006 to $50.4 million in 2007. Or — because it looks much more impressive when you ignore the dollar figure — soared by 264%!

To put it into a slightly more meaningful context — trade with the US declined by 0.2% in the first nine months of 2007 vs. 2006 — or half a billion dollars.