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INTERNATIONAL TRADE - Overseas Opportunities for Growth & Diversification

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

by WILLIAM NOKO, C-Level International Business Consultant

Over the last couple of years Canada has signed off on several international trade agreements that have seen many economic sectors benefitting from a reduction or total removal of trade tariffs. This has meant that trade with different parts of the world should be easier and a lot more profitable. Two regions in particular are the European Union (EU) and European Free trade Area (EFTA). Both have signed agreements with Canada.

What does it mean in practical terms for companies based in Atlantic Canada? Depending on the product or service, when a firm decides to export to the EU and EFTA regions, certain tariffs are partially removed or completely exonerated. In theory, these incentives are really meant to encourage firms on both sides of the Atlantic to increase trade. However, statistics from revenue authorities have shown that Canadian firms are still behind, compared to their European counterparts, in making full use of these agreements. So, what can be done to address these trade imbalances?

Firms in Atlantic Canada can prepare themselves for export by having a discussion internally to qualify the demand of their products and service in Europe. This is an important step, as it would foresee how the market responds to the product or service; and later on increase the probability for a match to business partners. If the market signals for your product or service are positive then its time to examine whether your firm is ready for export within the current structures and operations. In most cases there will be gaps that will need to be addressed. This is where a formalized export readiness assessmentguides firms through a structured process to develop the right strategy and implementation plan for them to diversify their markets through export and International Trade.

In our research we have already spoken to over 60 firms in Europe who are very interested in Canadian Products. They consider Canadian goods and services to be of high quality. They speak to “clean and fresh” factors that are inherent in our natural products. We hear many times that they like dealing with Canadian business, versus our friends to the south. So, what seems to be the reason more firms in Atlantic Canada are not exporting? We would like to hear from you if you believe you have a great product or service that is exportable. We can let you know if we have spoken to a firm in Europe that has already told us they want more of what you provide. It is a great way to prompt more conversations in our Atlantic Canadian boardrooms, and to close the trade deficit with CETA **

At C-Level Executives Solutions, a dedicated team is committed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses that want to export, or seek to increase their presence in Europe. In addition, we accompany firms that have little knowledge of the export market, or those with more in-depth knowledge, by providing tailor-made solutions.

If you need more information on the export service offerings from C-Level Executive Solutions, please get in touch with Andrew at 902-403-0868 or William at 902-440-8075.

**CETA = Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. This is the other name for the trade agreement with the EU.

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