International Trade Minister Urges More Companies to Take Advantage of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service

Recent study shows trade commissioners give their clients’ exports an 18-percent boost

(No. 293 - September 15, 2010 - 11:45 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today met with members of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters to promote the benefits of using Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) and update them on the government’s trade and investment agenda.

A recent study shows Canadian exporters are more successful when they use the TCS, a network of trade and investment professionals who help businesses succeed abroad.

Entitled The Impact of Trade Promotion Services on Canadian Exporter Performance, the study found that:

  • TCS clients export 18 percent more by value than non-TCS clients;
  • TCS clients export to 36 percent more markets; and
  • for every tax dollar spent on the TCS, Canadian exports increased $27.

“This study shows that the Trade Commissioner Service is an essential link for Canadian companies who are looking to do business beyond our borders,” said Minister Van Loan. “With offices in more than 150 cities throughout the world and 18 offices in Canada, our trade commissioners offer an unparalleled network of contacts and are making a difference in helping Canadian business expand abroad.

“Canada’s trade commissioners are highly effective in assisting small and medium-sized companies to access new markets, overcome trade barriers and diversify their products. The TCS offers its business clients the right formula for success, and it is helping create jobs and prosperity for Canadians.”

“I am not surprised at the results of this study, as many of our members benefit from the Trade Commissioner Service,” said Jayson Myers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. “The TCS network is like having an office abroad where Canadian companies can obtain hands-on service, real-time advice and solid after care.”

The TCS serves some 10,000 clients a year. Over half the clients have 50 or fewer employees. During the study period from 2000 to 2006, Canadian companies exported $360 billion a year, which supported 3.4 million jobs, about a quarter of all Canadian employment.

This new study also provides a benchmark in time that will help to improve services for Canadian business in the future. A follow-up study will be conducted in 2013 to measure ongoing success and identify new opportunities.

The TCS helps companies succeed globally and lowers the costs of doing business through four key services: preparing for international markets, assessing market potential, finding qualified contacts and solving problems.

In addition to highlighting the findings on the TCS, Minister Van Loan told the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters that in less than four years, the Government of Canada had concluded new free trade agreements with Colombia, Peru, Jordan, Panama and the European Free Trade Association states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Canada has also launched discussions on economic partnerships with two of the world’s largest economies, the European Union and India.

“The TCS puts boots on the ground to give muscle to our aggressive free trade agenda,” said the Minister.

A special feature on the study can be found at Canada’s State of Trade: Trade and Investment Update 2010.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada