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Victor Energy’s “Current” Success in Europe

When Alberta-based utility construction company Java Holdings Ltd. wanted to take advantage of the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to expand into Europe, it looked to Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) for help.

Today, Victor Energy—Java Holdings’ subsidiary company located in Zagreb, Croatia—provides energy and construction services to national energy companies in Croatia, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

A helicopter delivering an electricity-transmission tower.

A helicopter delivers an electricity-transmission tower to a Victor Energy construction crew in Lysefjord, Norway.

Krešimir Anušić, Managing Director of Victor Energy, says CETA’s preferential treatment for Canadian businesses accessing European markets was instrumental to the company’s international expansion.

Specifically, CETA’s provisions—which ensure that Canadian companies compete on an equal footing with European-owned companies—meant that Victor Energy was able to apply for public procurement contracts.

Once Victor Energy had identified which EU countries to approach, however, the company still faced another problem: how to get in touch with the right contacts in the large national energy companies it was targeting.

Fortunately, the TCS was there to help. The TCS set up official meetings that opened doors for Victor Energy to present its services and, ultimately, secure contracts.

Anušić says this approach was especially helpful in securing a contract with PSE SA, a state-owned company in Poland, as at the time Poland had a strict policy of not communicating directly with potential contractors unless an official organization, such as the TCS, had arranged a meeting.

Victor Energy also sought help from the TCS office in Zagreb when it encountered a trade barrier when bidding on a public procurement contract.

And the result? Victor Energy won the project.

Anušić says that the TCS along with Canada’s positive international brand were key to Victor Energy’s success in securing contracts with national systems operators in Croatia, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

A crew working on an electricity-transmission tower.

A Victor Energy crew at work on a new electricity-transmission tower in Lysefjord, Norway.

“The TCS’s support—and the fact that they advertise our company as having a Canadian presence—has been a huge benefit,” he says. “Canada is one of the largest economies in the world, and has an excellent reputation abroad, so to be a part of the Canadian brand gives us a good image to potential clients in the EU.”

In addition to helping with networking and navigating the complexities of international markets, Anušić credits the TCS with providing valuable information on Victor Energy’s target markets.

“They have been able to provide us with access to information that we wouldn’t otherwise have, such as market reports, statistics and country-situational breakdowns,” he says.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the company’s sales and its ability to travel to markets to install and service its products, Anušić says that Victor Energy plans to extend its reach in its existing markets—and when travel restrictions are lifted, he hopes the TCS will help his company expand into eastern Europe.

“The TCS has always been helpful,” he says. “They have been able to open doors for our company to new markets, and ensure that we have equal opportunities.”

Interested in learning how CETA can open Government Procurement opportunities for your company? Check out the Government Procurement Chapter Summary on the CETA webpage.

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