In Canada’s 150th year, we saw celebrations and special events all across this great country of ours. This milestone year is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on what it really means to be Canadian. To me, being Canadian can be summed up in one word… PROUD.

As Canadians, we are proud of who we are, what we do and what we stand for. We are loyal to the Maple Leaf and proudly display our flag during our travels. Yes, I was one of those proud Canadians who sewed the Canadian flag on my backpack during my travels around Europe. I wanted people to know I was Canadian and am proud to promote the Canadian brand.

Now as an employee of EDC, I am witnessing the positive impact that our brand has from a business perspective. Canadian companies are using our brand as a competitive advantage on the international stage.

Tip: Four Ways to build your brand with Brand Canada

The Canadian Brand Advantage

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with Brad Loiselle, President & CEO of betterU, a Canadian educational technology company that has its operating office in Mumbai, India. The company’s objective is to connect quality online education from global leading educators to the people of India. I asked him if he uses being a Canadian business as a competitive advantage. “I use it all the time,” he told me. “At a recent presentation to over 8,000 people at the Edtech conference in Australia, I started off by telling people I was Canadian.

Loiselle travels to India frequently and says, “Canada is seen as a reliable, caring, professional country and because of this respect, we are treated well.”

The Canadian Partner Advantage

Loiselle also understands how working with Canadian partners can help. “The great part of partnering with Canadian government trade agencies is that they can help you make connections and set up meetings at a more executive level. This is critical because when you are breaking into a new market, you need to stand out from the rest of your competitors that are trying to connect with those some decision-makers.

As a country built on the tradition of trade, Canada is well positioned to help companies export. There are many services available such as those offered by EDC, the Trade Commissioner Service, Business Development Bank of Canada and many provincial trade agencies.

The Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of Global Affairs Canada, for example, are located in 161 offices across the world and work with Canadian companies to prepare them to export outside of Canada. This free service is offered to all companies currently selling outside of Canada or just thinking about it. Some of their services include:

  • Preparing for international markets
  • Assessing market potential
  • Finding qualified contacts

According to the TCS, companies that use their services export 18 per cent more than those that don’t and they access 36 per cent more markets.

Tip: Find a Trade Commissioner

Exporting is a Team Canada approach, and EDC works very closely with the TCS to help exporters. This makes me PROUD to be Canadian and to be an employee at EDC!

As we celebrate Canada 150 this year, let’s all reflect on what it means to be Canadian. How would you define being Canadian? How has being Canadian influenced you in your life? How do you think we are seen in the world stage? Your answers will no doubt be as rich and diverse as this great country of ours.

Happy Birthday Canada! Let’s all enjoy the celebrations and take a moment to be proud of who we are.