Inclusive trade: Helping exporters from diverse backgrounds succeed globally

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Canada's strategy for inclusive trade

Fostering diversity and inclusion in trade is essential for promoting fair and sustainable economic growth. As part of Canada's Export Diversification Strategy, we are dedicated to assisting women exporters and business owners from diverse backgrounds in overcoming obstacles as they seek global expansion and success.

With our global network of more than 1,000 Trade Commissioners on the ground in more than 160 cities worldwide, we are a strategic partner for all businesses aspiring to navigate and succeed in the complex landscape of international trade, regardless of their size or the background of their leaders.

Our commitment on that front is in line with Canada's approach to inclusive trade, which seeks to ensure that the benefits and opportunities stemming from international trade are more widely shared with inclusive trade groups.

These groups include:

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by these exporters, such as securing financing and accessing business networks and opportunities, we provide targeted services and programs to level the playing field.

From facilitating knowledge-sharing and mentorship opportunities to providing financial support through our CanExport program, we've got your back.

Our regional offices: Driving inclusion in trade

Before going global, Canadian companies often start their export journeys by working with Trade Commissioners at one of our six regional offices across Canada. They help exporters plan their international expansion and find the right markets for their products and services.

In each of our offices across Canada, Trade Commissioners are at the forefront of our inclusive trade efforts. Their roles include:

Supplier diversity: Levelling the playing field

Supplier diversity programs, in particular, present promising opportunities for exporters from inclusive trade groups.

Supplier diversity means ensuring that women and exporters from diverse backgrounds have a fair shot at being part of corporate and public procurement networks. It's all about giving these business owners a chance not just to compete for contracts today, but also to grow and be fully prepared for future opportunities.

Trade Commissioners based in Canada work closely with their colleagues in our offices abroad to identify opportunities and connect companies with those opportunities.

Uncovering and promoting supplier diversity opportunities for Canadian businesses is an important part of the work being done by our offices abroad, particularly in the United States.

This is important because many large companies in the U.S. are engaged in proactive supplier diversity programs.

Helping Canadians to access these programs is an important objective for us at trade shows, conferences, and other events abroad. That's why we often organize business delegations for major trade events with that goal in mind.

We also provide funding under our CanExport SMEs program to help cover the cost of applicable certification, as well as costs related to attending trade events outside Canada.

Whether it's in Canada, or around the world, we are committed to working with Canadian exporters from all backgrounds, to help them do business with the world, expand globally and succeed on the international stage.

Stay informed

For more information on Trade Commissioner Service support and initiatives tied to inclusive trade, visit our Business Women in International Trade, Indigenous business export support and Trade missions and events webpages.

Create a free MyTCS account to get access to export‑related information, tools, market insights, events and more, tailored to your specific business needs.

You can also follow us on LinkedIn, X (Twitter) and Facebook for the latest information and updates, and watch our videos on YouTube.

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