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    Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)

  • In short, our mandate is to provide you with on-the-ground intelligence and practical advice on foreign markets to help you make better, more timely and cost-effective decisions in order to achieve your international business goals.  We are a free service for Canadian companies and organizations, and we have offices in 150 cities world-wide, plus our offices in Canada to help connect you to our networks.  We have four main services:

    1. Preparation for International Markets - This service is predominantly provided by our officers in Canada like me.  It is assistance to help determine if you are internationally competitive, decide on target markets, collect market and industry information, and improve your international business strategy.  We can help connect you to our colleagues abroad to ensure you make the most of our services as your company grows, inform you of initiatives, events and sources of intelligence from which you might benefit, and connect you with other services and programs offered by partner organizations (like EDC and BDC).

    2. Market Potential Assessment – Assistance usually provided by our officers abroad in the form of market intelligence and feedback or advice on your market strategy.  This helps you to gauge the amount of effort and resources required to succeed in a particular market.  The intelligence we provide includes information on barriers and regulations, an overview of the competitive landscape, knowledge about upcoming opportunities or emerging trends, advice on navigating business/cultural practices, local representation, market entry strategies, and participation in global value chains.  We also identify upcoming events like exhibitions and conferences, partnering seminars, and trade missions.  Please note that we are not able to provide in-depth market research reports specific to your company’s situation.

    3. Qualified Contacts – Tell us the type of contacts you are seeking, and we can help you find the key players.  We can provide very specific contacts, such as the procurement officer in a specific company, or general contacts such as industry associations, government contacts, chambers of commerce, etc.  Our networks include potential buyers and partners, legal and financial professionals, technology sources, agents, representatives, regulatory authorities, and investment promotion agencies.  We also provide limited assistance to verify whether unsolicited contacts are legitimate.

    4. Business Problem Resolution (troubleshooting) – When something goes awry, we will try to assist you to find a resolution.  We cannot enter into private disputes or act on your behalf in legal situations, but we can advise on market access problems and other business challenges, including customs clearance and shipping, unfair business treatment, contract bidding, storage and warehousing, insurance coverage and claims, etc.  We may be able to intervene in some form with local contacts to advocate on your behalf, but this is looked at on a case-by-case basis and depends on the context of the local market as to how and when we can advocate for individual companies.



    Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting, (https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/exporters-exportateurs/guide-exporting-guide-exportation.aspx?lang=eng&_ga=2.96592159.1225259655.1547485715-1396955938.1539101038). While you already have an international business strategy, I still suggest that you glance through this publication.  It is useful to have some checklists to ensure that you have thought of everything, and to be aware of common pitfalls.

    Market Reports, (https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/trade_commissioners-delegues_commerciaux/country_info_reports-info_pays_rapports.aspx?lang=eng) - general market information by industry sector for a particular country or region.   Unfortunately, we are not able to publish something for every country in every industry sector.  If there is nothing available on the web site, ask me to connect you with our office in that market, and my colleagues are usually able to provide some information, or at least research resource suggestions.

    Webinars, (https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/webinars-webinaires/index.aspx?lang=eng&_ga=2.191464874.1225259655.1547485715-1396955938.1539101038)-  upcoming or pre-recorded information sections on topics of interest to Canadian exporters, either on common items such as U.S. customs clearance, or specific to particular industries for a particular market. 




    CanExport provides direct financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) registered in Canada to help them develop new export opportunities for their product or service in new international markets.  It provides financial support for a wide range of export marketing activities, such as:

    • Business travel;
    • Participation at trade fairs;
    • Market research;
    • Adaptation of marketing tools for a new market; and
    • Legal fees associated with a distribution/representation agreement.

    CanExport reimburses up to 50 percent of eligible expenses but requires that applicants match funds on a one-to-one basis.