The past year has been a bit of a rollercoaster for the global economy. But Canadian businesses, especially exporters, are happily along for the ride. With remarkable 8% growth in 2017, exports are growing faster than the rest of the economy.

Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs that sell to the U.S. and internationally are riding high

There are so many significant things that happened in 2017 to create new international business opportunities for Canadian companies. Canada signed a new trade deal with the European Union (EU) and created new opportunities in Latin America. And the Canada 150 celebrations confounded naysayers by putting Canada on the map for tourists from across the world. Did you know half a million tourists from China visited Canada this year?

Canadian businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, have great opportunities to grow and expand through international trade. In fact, with export growth outpacing overall economic growth, international trade is increasingly critical to business success – no matter your business sector or the size of your company.

Is your business ready to explore international trade opportunities?

A new year is around the corner, making this the perfect time to look at the Global Export Forecast. What does it mean for your business? Here are the top three opportunities to help your business to grow internationally in 2018:

1. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU, coming into force in 2017, is arguably one of the biggest game-changers for Canadian businesses across all sectors. Canadian businesses will benefit from reduced tariffs when selling products to any one of the 28 countries in the EU. Services – including transportation and tourism – are a big hit in Europe. In fact, 12% of all Canadian service exports are doing business there.

Europe represents a huge market for Canadian international business in:

  • Technology
  • Software
  • Plastics
  • Consumer goods

Approximately how much did Europeans pay for Canadian goods in 2017? Here’s a sample:

  • France – $32 million
  • Germany – $26 million
  • UK – $37 million

2. The Pacific Alliance is a group of four countries in Latin America – Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia. In October, Canada became an associated state of the Pacific Alliance, opening up savings and opportunities for Canadian firms in addition to the nearly $50 billion in trade we already do in the region.

For Canadian businesses, there are huge opportunities in:

  • Cleantech
  • Software
  • Infrastructure
  • Communications
  • Retail
  • Mining

3. Emerging markets. We’ve heard for a long time about the rising middle class in China, boosting demand for high quality Canadian goods and services. Everything from raw and processed foods, soap, and cinemas, to aircraft components. China is huge, but the growth doesn’t stop there; countries like India, Brazil, the fast-growing countries of Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe and others, have people seeking out goods and services Canadian businesses can provide.

Emerging markets make up just 13% of Canada’s exports right now. But they are growing fast. In 2017, 13% of Canadian goods and services traded internationally were destined for emerging markets.


It’s a great sign of our growing maturity as an exporting country when our entrepreneurs and small-to-medium sized businesses are realizing the gains from taking their businesses abroad.

Exporting to international markets is critical to Canadian business growth and to the Canadian economy. And it’s much easier to get started than you may think.

If you think NAFTA renegotiation and rising US protectionism are show-stoppers to all of this, well, our Global Export Forecast has some answers that will demonstrate how the show must go on.

If you want to gain more specifics and insight about what’s on the horizon in 2018, register for our free live webinar for the Global Export Forecast and Q&A on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 1pm. I’ll be delving into the details of our Global Export Forecast and answering your questions.

*If you can’t tune in on Thursday, register here anyway and we’ll send you an on-demand link as soon as it’s available.