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Team Canada Trade Missions

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About Team Canada Trade Missions

Team Canada Trade Missions (TCTMs) are large-scale, minister-led trade missions to the Indo-Pacific region. They prioritize innovation sectors where Canada has a competitive advantage. Delivered by Canada's Trade Commissioner Service, TCTMs are also a key initiative under the Indo-Pacific Strategy.

TCTMs help open doors for Canadian companies, from large and diverse businesses to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including those owned by:

They provide Canadian businesses and organizations access to:

Targeting Indo-Pacific markets

The Indo-Pacific region is quickly emerging as the global center of economic opportunity and strategic importance. It accounts for over one-third of the world's economic activity. By 2030, the region is expected to become home to two-thirds of global middle class. By 2040 it is projected to make up over half of the global economy.

These factors highlight the significance of the Indo-Pacific region for Canadian companies and offer unparalleled opportunities for:

  • market exploration
  • expansion
  • strategic partnerships.

How TCTMs are unique

Team Canada Trade Missions' (TCTMs) scale and engagement of high-level government officials is what increases its profile and sets it apart from other trade missions.

Team Canada Trade Missions:

  • are led by a federal minister, demonstrating Canada's commitment to strengthen relations and gain the attention of foreign markets
  • bring together a large, diverse delegation of representatives from across Canada and from various sectors
  • welcome the participation of provinces and territories, municipalities, other government departments, trade portfolio partners, chambers of commerce, and trade and industry associations all coming together under a high profile, "whole of Canada" approach.

Benefits of taking part in a Team Canada Trade Mission

Deciding to invest time and resources in a new market is a big decision. TCTMs are just one of many tools available to help Canadian businesses navigate their export journey.

The "whole of Canada" approach combined with the presence of senior government representatives and elected officials, like Canada's Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, creates great momentum and presents unique access and opportunities in the market for participants. Other benefits include:

Understanding if this is the right initiative to grow your business internationally

While these trade missions help to open doors and demystify the ins and outs of international markets, it is important to do your research to determine whether this is the right tool to meet your growth objectives. Being part of a large minister-led delegation may raise the visibility of your company maximising your opportunity to establish a presence in the market(s), or you may find that it does not give your company the attention and the appropriate level of assistance it needs for the stage of business development you're at.

  • Ask yourself these questions:
    • Am I export ready? Take the Export readiness quiz
    • Have I researched the market and its opportunities?
    • Do the TCTM format and program elements meet my objectives and expectations from this trade mission?
    • Do I have the resources (human and financial) to fulfill potential increased demand for my products/services?
  • Reach out to the TCS regional office in your province or territory. Talk to them about your company's product/service and your objectives.
  • Consult the trade mission's webpage to determine whether you align with the focus and are eligible to participate.

Program

Team Canada Trade Missions take place over a one-week period and involve visiting one or more countries and spending an average of 2 days in each city.

Participants learn about doing business in the host market(s) and gain exposure to the social and business cultures through:

Given the large size and broad scope of TCTMs, there are 2 program streams offered:

General program stream

  1. The general program stream provides delegates with market intelligence and networking opportunities through market briefings and various networking events. This program stream does not include pre-arranged B2B meetings.

    This stream may be offered to:

    • companies that do not meet export and/or market readiness criteria but could still benefit from the briefings and networking activities as they are at an exploratory stage of doing business in the target market(s)
    • companies that are already well established in the target market(s) and that in a position to arrange their own meetings using their existing network and resources on the margins of the main TCTM events. Examples of well-established companies include companies that have an existing robust and successful relationship, either through a local office or an established relationship with a local sales representative or distributor
    • non-company organizations such as: provinces, territories, municipalities, trade portfolio partners, chambers of commerce and trade associations

Business to business (B2B) program stream

  1. The B2B program stream includes the general program as well as a tailored program of pre-arranged B2B meetings. This stream is offered only to a select number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating within the priority sectors for the trade mission. Companies will be assessed based on:
    • the SME's level of export readiness and their demonstrated ability to respond to specific market opportunities
    • local demand for the SME's product/service
    • degree of sector-specific opportunities in the local market(s)

If you have been selected for the general program and want B2B meetings, the TCS cannot secure these meetings for you, during the trade mission. Due to the scale of these trade missions and the resources needed to ensure their smooth delivery, trade commissioners on the ground will have limited capacity to organize programs or arrange individual meetings outside of the TCTM. Should you wish to develop your own B2B schedule around the trade mission program, we recommend hiring a service provider/local consultant or working with a partner to do so.

Eligibility

Team Canada Trade Missions welcome:

Eligibility criteria for Canadian companies

  • be export-ready and have demonstrated potential to succeed in the target market(s)
  • have a commercialized product or service or one close to commercialization
  • be able to demonstrate that the products and/or services they seek to promote through the trade mission will result in significant economic benefit for Canada (e.g. increased production in Canada, employment creation, technology transfer, increased research and development (R&D) activity, etc.)
  • have conducted research on foreign markets and opportunities, especially preparatory work for the target market(s)
  • have a realistic and credible international business plan
  • have allocated resources (human, material, time, and financial) toward internationalization

Learn more about eligibility criteria for the Trade Commissioner Service.

Eligibility criteria for other organizations

Other organizations include provinces, territories, municipalities, trade portfolio partners, chambers of commerce and trade associations. These organizations are automatically placed in the general program stream and should:

  • have an interest in the trade mission's sectors of focus
  • have potential to contribute to fostering partnerships, knowledge exchange or economic development
  • be able to bring demonstrated value to the trade mission in terms of expertise, resources or collaboration opportunities.

Funding

There is no fee to participate in a TCTM, however, participants are responsible for covering all related travel costs, including airfare, accommodations, ground transportation and meals not included in the program.

Canadian SMEs interested in participating in a trade mission may be eligible to apply for CanExport SMEs, a TCS program that provides funding to help Canadian SMEs looking to diversify their export markets.

The Government of Canada, as well as individual provincial and territorial governments, also offer export financing and other programs that help Canadian businesses expand internationally. Please consult the Business Benefits Finder to find programs and services suitable to your needs.

Companies should always consult the respective funding program web pages to find out:

Learn more about upcoming Team Canada Trade Missions

TCTMs are one of many initiatives in your export toolbox. To learn about upcoming TCTMs and other export initiatives organized by the TCS:

Resources

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