When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to China recently, he re-ignited interest in trade with China, and helped to highlight the opportunities in that vast land. China is already Canada’s second largest trading partner. With 13% of Canadian firms expecting to do business in China in the next two years, 2018 may well be the year of the Red Dragon.

Trade opportunities in China

There are many opportunities to boost the Canada-China trade relationship. In 2017, several Canadian businesses discovered great opportunities to do business in China — in aerospace, automotive products, advanced technology and consumer products.

  • Opportunities in aerospace – Aerospace needs will remain significant. Bombardier’s new C Series aircraft are considered cutting-edge. There may be opportunities for leasing companies to buy them and use them in China as a versatile, cost-effective aircraft that’s suitable to regional flying.
  • Opportunities in resources – Resources will also continue to be a huge ongoing opportunity in China. China needs raw materials for its manufacturing, but also oil and gas for its energy needs.
  • Opportunities in technology – There are ample Canadian capabilities in the automotive sector — both parts and technologies, particularly with respect to autonomous vehicles.

Take advantage of the Canadian brand

Canadian business people are viewed very favourably in China. Take advantage of this competitive edge to get better acquainted with your Chinese customers. The best way to do this is by immersing yourself in the country, understanding the business culture, understanding the business requirements and developing a China-specific strategy for their future export business. At the same time building a strong network of relationships and a support system in China can help you grow business there. EDC has resources to help with this, including our Market Entry Guide — unlock key contacts to help you get a foothold in the Chinese market.

How is EDC helping Canadian businesses in China?

In addition to helping Canadian businesses sell in China, EDC is focusing on foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities. We do this by supporting Canadian affiliates and their parent companies and also leveraging in-market relationships.

Help for small and medium-sized Canadian companies

In 2016, EDC did CAD $5.58 billion worth of business in China with CAD $759.2 million in financing. We served 606 customers, 344 of which were small- and medium-sized enterprises. Over the five-year period between 2012 and 2016, EDC did the most business in infrastructure and environment, but recently (2016), the sector with the most volume was resources with CAD $1.28 billion; infrastructure and environment came second with CAD $1.24 billion.

EDC helps Canadian businesses of all size sell in China by providing insurance to Canadian exporters. We also help with financing, which represented a bigger portion of the pie in 2016 than in the previous five years.

Can EDC help your Canadian business sell in China? You can contact me directly to find out.

For more information on EDC’s services in China, contact me Ladislau Papara at lpapara@edc.ca (Ottawa) or Chia Wan Liew, Chief Representative for China at Cliew@edc.ca (Shanghai).