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Trade Commissioner Service - Eligibility and services

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for our services, your company must have all three (3) of the following:

Meaningful economic ties to Canada

Meaningful economic ties means your company:

  • Is registered as a company in Canada,
  • Is listed on a Canadian equities exchange and paying taxes in Canada, and/or
  • Has and maintains established office(s) with employees, a subsidiary, a plant, or a research and development establishment, or a joint venture in Canada.

Capacity for, and commitment to, internationalization

Capacity for internationalization can be demonstrated by your company having:

  • researched foreign markets,
  • dedicated resources for your international growth (both human and financial), and
  • a business plan with international objectives

Potential to contribute significantly to the Canadian economy

This means your company’s international business development activity has direct benefits to Canada, such as:

  • increased exports of Canadian-made products or services
  • technology transfer
  • new job creation
  • increased research and development activity
  • increased production in Canada

Companies that seek to sell equities abroad, or one-person operations seeking to sell an idea abroad with no future benefits to Canada, are not eligible for TCS services.

Key services of the TCS

Below are the ways in which we can support your international business activities.

Prepare your business for international markets

Whether you are doing business abroad for the first time or looking to expand into new markets, a trade commissioner at one of our offices in Canada will work with you to:

  • determine if your business is internationally competitive
  • decide on a target market
  • collect market and industry information
  • improve your international business strategy

Maintaining an ongoing relationship with your local trade commissioner in Canada provides several advantages to your company. Our trade commissioners can help by:

  • developing a first-hand understanding of your business to connect you with relevant opportunities in your target market
  • explaining how to make the most of TCS services as your company grows
  • informing you of initiatives and sources of business intelligence that could benefit your organization (such as trade missions, seminars, meetings, and trade shows)
  • connecting you with other useful services and programs for exporters offered by partner organizations

Assess your potential for specific foreign markets

We can help you determine the level of opportunity that exists in a particular foreign market. We offer advice on the appropriate approaches to the market, and gauge the amount of effort and resources required.
We provide:

  • Market intelligence: We offer up-to-date information on international markets. We inform you about barriers and regulations associated with entering a specific region. We also provide an overview of the competitive landscape and share knowledge about upcoming opportunities or emerging trends.
  • Advice on implementing your market strategy: We consult with you and offer practical advice on such areas as:
    • navigating business and cultural practices
    • local representation
    • market entry strategies
    • participation in global value chains

We can also identify upcoming events such as trade fairs, conferences, partnering seminars and trade missions.

Find vetted business contacts

We have an on-the-ground presence in more than 160 cities worldwide. We know the key players who can help you pursue your market strategy or resolve your problems. We will connect you with the right people to help you find partners, enter new markets, respond to unsolicited proposals and approach organizations in markets abroad.
Through our offices in Canada, we can connect you to industry associations, federal, provincial or municipal contacts, chambers of commerce, or other contacts.

Our network of contacts include:

  • potential buyers and partners
  • finance and legal professionals
  • technology sources
  • agents
  • manufacturers’ representatives
  • foreign regulatory authorities
  • foreign investment promotion agencies

Resolve your business problems

You may have a common problem that many businesses have faced abroad, or an issue exclusive to your organization that requires a unique solution. Whatever it is, we are here to help.

We are unable to enter into private disputes or act on your behalf in legal situations, but we are able to advise you 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
  • overdue accounts receivable

Service standards

Response time and quality of service

We take pride in our response time and quality of service. We will contact you within five working days of receiving your inquiry.

While business conditions may vary, we do our utmost to tailor our services to your specific needs in each of the markets you are targeting.

Feedback about our services

If you have feedback on our services, please send us a message.

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