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Spotlight Series

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s (TCS) Spotlight Series sheds light on a variety of export-related topics to help Canadian companies conduct business abroad more efficiently and identify new opportunities for growth. These informative guides provide actionable insights, tips and resources to help your business become more competitive internationally.

Spotlight on Inclusive Trade

The objective of Inclusive Trade is to ensure that all segments of society can take advantage of the opportunities that flow from trade. This means providing equal opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may already be at a disadvantage, including women, Indigenous peoples, youth, and other underrepresented groups.

This guide focuses on how to further promote a trade diversification strategy that benefits companies majority-owned by Indigenous peoples, through Indigenous entrepreneurship and supplier diversity.

Spotlight on Market Diversification

The concept of diversification is an important consideration for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for expanding business internationally. Having a diversification strategy will benefit your business’s long-term stability and growth.

This guide is intended to help you determine how Canadian businesses can benefit from the US e-commerce market. The report outlines the country's e-commerce industry and its growth drivers as well as provides an analysis of the opportunities, challenges and resources required that lead to success.

Spotlight on Intercultural Business

One of the biggest challenges faced when exporting abroad is crossing the cultural divide. Culture affects every part of the way people live and interact, including the way business is conducted around the world. Generating an understanding of the local culture is essential to commercial success.

This Spotlight will help you to examine what defines culture, the challenges that will arise, how to understand culture, and how to be intercultural effective. Before you decide to take on global markets, you should set time aside to do your homework on the cultural aspects that can impact building successful commercial relationships.

Spotlight on Market Research

Market research is vital to sustainable export success in international markets. It is a process that can help you avoid costly expansion mistakes and identify extraordinary business opportunities, allowing you to minimize risk before you enter a foreign market through proactive data collection and analysis.

The following Spotlight on Market Research outlines the foundation of performing market research on an international scale to identify a target market. From differing research methods to valuable profiling elements, this short guide can help your company prepare to engage in market research in order to solidify potential export opportunities and avoid the risk of entering the wrong market.

Spotlight on Export Financing

One of the greatest barriers that SMEs experience when faced with exporting opportunities is the financials. Selling internationally can be very lucrative but doesn’t come without its risks.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) is pleased to present the following Spotlight on Export Financing, which illustrates the landscape of Canada’s trade programs and what financial products/services are available to help Canadian companies seize international opportunities.

Spotlight on Cybersecurity

“Engaging in cybersecurity practices protects one’s self and one’s business from the threats of cyber-crime, identity theft, and other dangers of operating online.

The following Spotlight on Cybersecurity is intended to provide Canadian exporters with the background knowledge and tools necessary to protect their business against cyber threats. From understanding who commits cyber-crimes and their motives, to what can be done to prevent them, this short guide can help you to understand and employ cybersecurity measures.”

Spotlight on Social Responsibility

Social responsibility produces numerous benefits for the environment and global communities as well as encourages participating companies to innovate, attract top talent and even reduce their operating costs.

The following Spotlight can help your company stay informed about the advantages and emerging trends associated with socially responsible business practices as well as access resources that reinforce these important principals and offer actionable solutions. From social innovation and intrapreneurship to clean technology and corporate social responsibility, this short guide can assist you in making positive social, environmental and economic changes that can contribute to your company’s bottom line.

Spotlight on International Marketing

In an ever evolving technological world where businesses continue to improve their efficiency and new competitors can be established overnight, global competition is fierce, making it imperative to promote yourself effectively to both potential customers and investors.

This Spotlight is presented by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) to help you identify key considerations and best practices for marketing your company internationally as well as to investors and venture capitalists. Whether it involves fine tuning your unique selling proposition (USP) or adapting elements of your marketing mix, this short guide can help your company prepare to market itself efficiently when faced with global opportunities.

Spotlight on Global Value Chains

As trade continues to expand globally, companies are increasingly sourcing and segmenting their various services and production units from around the world.  Globalization has led to many positive outcomes such as improved information and communication technologies, a considerable decline in transportation costs, and reduced barriers to trade and investment. This growth has positively contributed to the competitiveness of Canadian businesses.

This Spotlight is presented by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) to help you to explore strategies that your company can use to enter new Global Value Chains (GVCs) effectively as well as expand on existing supply frameworks. Whether it is finding your niche, qualifying for preferred supplier lists, or taking advantage of diverse supplier initiatives, this short guide can help your business connect to GVC opportunities right here in Canada or around the world.

Spotlight on Free Trade

Free trade agreements (FTAs) are providing Canadian businesses with preferential access to a wider range of export and international investment opportunities than ever before in both established and emerging markets. As such, it is important to know how these agreements are structured and function in each market in order to determine how your company’s goods or services can benefit from them.

The following Spotlight is presented by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) to help you to explore the FTAs that Canada has in place with other trading nations and how your company can take advantage of agreements in these markets. It also highlights the provisions of FTAs that are important to consider for your specific good or service.

Spotlight on E-commerce

This Spotlight on E-commerce compiles essential information for companies looking to either start doing business online with consumers in markets abroad, or for those who already have an online presence to explore best practices to diversify their sales to target consumers in some of the world’s largest markets.

The Spotlight can help your company stay informed with the right resources to effectively sell to consumers around the world through digital platforms. From e-marketplaces to virtual storefronts and search engine optimization, this short guide can assist your business in taking the important first step to market your products and services online to a much wider audience.

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