Export, Innovate, Invest - The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Company shares keys to success in emerging markets

SaskCan Pulse Trading Inc

Murad Al-Katib, President of SaskCan Pulse Trading Inc, grew his company from the ground up. Watch this short video to hear Al-Katib share his thoughts on what is helping his company in challenging emerging markets.

Read the video transcript.

Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Duration: 2:51
File Size: 26.6 MB
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Alliance Grain Traders is a nine-year old company. We were a start-up in Saskatchewan in 2002 and we have processing plants now in Regina, across Western Canada, Australia, China, Turkey, and offices located throughout the world. We export to 85 countries lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, pasta and rice.

Finding our markets, navigating the right buyers, the regulatory environment and understanding the whole gamut of trade and non-tariff trade barriers and all kinds of challenges that are facing small-medium enterprises. This has been a big part of what we’ve focused on to build our business.

Because our products are staple protein, we deal a lot in the emerging markets. So, very difficult markets like Bangladesh, Algeria, Peru. And as we grew in size, we even got fooled into thinking that we could do it all ourselves. And we’ve had a number of cases over the last couple of years where we got the Trade Commissioners Service involved to help us to resolve problems that we couldn’t resolve ourselves.

In Algeria, customs issues we couldn’t resolve for 11 months on our own, our offices in Algeria had the Canadian Embassy there assist us in resolving something in 21 days that we couldn’t do in 11 months ourselves. So there’s a lot of benefit to the contacts that our Canadian staff and our locally engaged staff have on the ground. As I grow my business and I grow the scale and size of my business, the level and complexity of my issues increases and I’m still able to find the Trade Commissioners Service helping me in some of the most complex issues. So in 2002 it was trying to find out who’s who in each market and trying to find qualified contacts. That’s where I got a lot of help.

Today I know the markets, I know the clients. Where I’m getting more help is in foreign investment guidelines, in technology sourcing, in dispute resolution, in legal advice, in taxation structures and in tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. I mean, those to us, are a big thing. The Trade Commissioners Service gives us access at the highest levels of governments to ensure that if we have issues, we can understand them and we can resolve them. And that’s something that no private company can do on their own, no matter what your size. And so I think that that’s a big advantage for us as Canadian International businesses.