STEP 1.1

Introduction to Exporting from Canada

Transforming your business from a national firm into an international firm is no small task, and the leap across borders and oceans should never be taken lightly.

Rushing into exporting without an ironclad strategy or the financial wherewithal to deal with the challenges of international markets is a recipe for disaster. Planning, research, making contacts, the whole process can be overwhelming.

That’s where we come in.

ExportEdge’s Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting is an essential tool for all Canadian companies interested in exploring business opportunities in international markets. We have gathered the resources and know-how of Canada’s top trade organizations and professionals, and we can help you cultivate the fruits of ambition.

We will introduce you to services that are available to help Canadian exporters, along with the basics of trade law, customs and regulations, and target market research.

You will also find valuable information about the world’s most lucrative international markets, as well as advice on how to build a robust network of trading partners, ship your products, manage risk and get paid.

Preparing your business for international expansion is not an easy or fast process, but we can help make it as painless as possible.

Ian McColl, president and CEO of Hibar Systems Ltd.—a manufacturer of liquid dispensing systems—and Peter Biro, president and CEO of military optics equipment manufacturer Newcon Optik, are veteran exporters, and they know what it takes to establish successful operations in international markets:

We aim to provide you with worthwhile advice from business champions like McColl and Biro, trade-focused organizations, and both the Canadian and foreign governments.

Our goal is to bring everything you need to succeed under one roof, and to foster confidence in and fuel the passion for your exporting goals.

So Why Export?

Companies start exporting for a myriad of reasons:

As part of’s Export Insights 2018 report, Canadian businesses were asked why the began selling internationally. These were the most popular answers. Study conducted by RK Insights

Regardless of what draws a firm into a new market, the ultimate goal is to monetize opportunities and facilitate business growth. For any Canadian business that has growth ambitions, there will come a time when exporting becomes necessary. This is because of the limited size of our domestic market.

Companies based in colossus economies like the U.S. can stay within their own borders and do quite well. Canadians aren’t so lucky. Canada accounts for only about 2 per cent of global economic activity. If you run a business in this country and want to grow, the Canadian economy simply isn’t big enough to facilitate it. The other 98 per cent of the world’s economy is out there, waiting:

Breaking out of the Canadian bubble: why exporting is a critical strategy

Opportunities for rapid growth are plentiful for Canadian businesses, but most of them lie beyond our shores

Exporting can provide Canadian businesses a chance to tap into 98.5 per cent of the global economy. PHOTO: Ingrid Taylar, via Flickr

Here’s Mitchell Osak, managing director of Strategic Advisory Services at Grant Thornton, explaining why growth-focused Canadian firms need to export:

Newcon Optik’s Biro holds a similar view:

Dave Kroetsch, cofounder, former CEO and currently chief technology officer at Waterloo, Ont.-based drone manufacturer Aeryon Labs Inc., is also bullish about the opportunities waiting for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the global economy:

Kroetsch’s firm won Exporter of the Year at the Ontario Export Awards in 2014.

The Export Awards, hosted in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, recognize excellence in production, innovation, growth and export sales for internationally-focused companies.

Winning an Export Award brings with it prestige, brand awareness and pride in your firm’s accomplishments. It also provides enterpreneurs the chance to measure their export footprint against that of their peers, an exercise critical to understanding your market and planning for future growth.

For those of you just starting out down this exciting path, the Export Awards provide a snapshot of the fruits that your labours can potentially bear:

The 2017 Ontario Export Awards took place on Nov. 21, 2017 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

Winners of the 2017 Ontario Export Awards at the Nov. 21 gala in Mississauga, Ont. From left to right: Stephane Levesque (SRB), Eleanor Hodgson (Senstar), Lori Holjeavac (ClimateWorx), Peter Snucins (Polycorp), Jacqueline Cooper (InterAxon), Irene Ostap (Pack-Smart), Lily Sochaj and Andrew Sochaj (Cyclone), Sam Kohn (kubik) Jillian Pyper (Kii Naturals), Matt Stevens (FleetCarma) PHOTO: Donna Santos Studio

Aerospace manufacturer Cyclone Manufacturing Inc. took home the top honour as Exporter of the Year.

Cyclone, which builds aircraft components for the world’s largest plane makers, including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Lockheed Martin, edged out more than 25 finalists at this year’s awards gala at Mississauga, Ont.’s International Centre Nov. 21. PHOTO: Donna Santos Studio


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