The Government of Canada’s international commercial network – the Trade Commissioner Service – currently encompasses over 900 Canadian Trade Commissioners active in over 150 cities worldwide, including 17 regional offices across Canada.
Working side-by-side with Canadian diplomats, officials from some 22 federal departments and agencies, commercial partners like Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, as well as with provincial and territorial counterparts and other stakeholders, Canadian Trade Commissioners provide thousands of Canadian clients each year with information, advice and support that helps them advance their international commercial strategies.
In the face of rising complexity and competition, the Government of Canada recognizes that Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service needs to be expanded and strengthened in key markets that are aligned with Canadian business interests.
This is essential as Canada’s international presence is small in comparison with other nations like the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Japan and Australia, all of whom continue to expand efforts to support their companies.
It is also necessary to meet rising demand from Canadian companies for increasingly sophisticated support in accessing global value chain opportunities, establishing operations abroad, connecting with global innovation networks, finding potential joint venture partners, licensing technologies and attracting talent and capital.
The Government is expanding resources in a number of key locations abroad and opening offices in a number of new markets. In China, for example, new offices will be opened in Chengdu, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Wuhan.
In India, Canada is expanding its presence to include Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmadabad.
Canada-based Trade Commissioners are often the first point of contact for many Canadian businesses seeking to broaden their international trade and investment interests.
They also act as an essential link to Canada’s network abroad.
The Government is expanding the Canada-based network by increasing resources in existing locations across Canada.
Across Canada and around the world, the Trade Commissioner Service is also re-aligning its services to better meet Canadian companies’ broader range of needs in today’s highly integrated global economy.
Trade Commissioners are being trained to enhance their capacity to support Canadian investment abroad.
They are also being equipped with new tools to promote Canada as a destination for foreign investment and enterprise.
Trade Commissioners are increasingly tailoring their efforts and services to the specific opportunities and challenges of the market in which they are operating.
In some markets, for example, Trade Commissioners are sharply focused on highlighting Canada as an investment destination and/or supporting Canadian business investors active in that market.
In others, the greatest focus is on supporting innovation and technology partnerships.
In still other markets, Trade Commissioners may be actively supporting trade negotiations or focusing on more traditional export promotion activities.
Of course, as services are driven by Canadian business needs, Trade Commisisoners around the world are engaged in all of these activities to some degree or another.
Thanks to greater information sharing and collaboration with key partners like Export Development Canada, the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the provinces and various industry stakeholders, Trade Commissioners are able to ensure that their efforts are consolidated and maximized on behalf of Canadian companies, as they confront the challenges and opportunities presented by today's integrated global economy.