If a business truly wants to understand its competition, it needs to be aware of its context. It should study the government the competition operates within and the industries being promoted by that government. Fortunately, for those interested, the Canadian government offers many resources to help businesses understand what sectors it prioritizes and emphasizes. As Canada remains a vital economic power, its strategies remain worth studying.

The Canada export promotion strategy is readily available for public viewing. In the document, a selection of “priority markets were identified through a multi-stage process that included:

  • Economic modeling to identify markets with high-growth potential given Canadian industrial capabilities and competitive advantages,
  • Analysis of potential sources of capital, technology and talent,
  • Key regional trading blocs and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners for Canada,
  • Core hubs in global value chains, and
  • Guidance from key Canadian industry sectors.”

This priority market selection ensures that Canada maximizes its strengths by concentrating its resources on the industries that will allow for greater export trade growth. It does so by looking at each industry’s capability, Foreign Trade Agreements (FTA), supply chains, and value added chains.

Based on the above analysis Canada has chosen the following as the priority industries it has selected to support:

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture and processed foods
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Consumer products
  • Defense and security
  • Education
  • Financial services
  • Fish and seafood
  • Forestry and wood products
  • Industrial machinery
  • Information and communications technologies
  • Infrastructure
  • Life sciences
  • Mining
  • Ocean technologies
  • Oil and gas
  • Professional services
  • Sustainable technologies
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Wine, beer and spirits.

Analyzing Export Plans

By concentrating on specific financial tools available through Canada and other countries, companies can find a supplement to other economic development resources. Returns on investments can more deeply be investigated by comparing industries and their status within specific countries.

These plans should be completed quarterly and only for those sectors we have the greatest competitive advantage or market entry potential.

Additional questions one should attempt to analyze and use for benchmarking during this analysis include: Which industries generate the most employment today, in the close term, and in the further future? What countries are expanding economically? Which countries are growing faster? Do we see any other countries concentrating on the same industries and providing specific services and entry points that we are not?

In The Spotlight

Each of the industries and countries should be analyzed for specific values that make possible a detailed country-industry market entry ranking. The figure below shows the detailed components of a working plan including benchmarking and assessments that can be undertaken to keep the SME (small and medium-size enterprise) industry moving forward.

Wider Issues with Export Plans

Based on some of the data being provided by the Canadian Global Market Plan, a business advisor can show local U.S.-based clients what economic areas are cause for concern and what areas need to be protected to stop potential entry by the Canadian government or specific international companies.

Large companies have the resources to develop intelligence strategies. However local U.S. SMEs do not have the management and financial resources or know-how to keep track of these changes. Therefore, it is critical when the U.S. government or local state governments decide to develop plans in regards to a certain industry that they monitor details of foreign economic development plans. These plans should be completed quarterly and only for those sectors we have the greatest competitive advantage or market entry potential.

On a smaller level, however, the study of export plans in other countries remains a vital way to understand how a business can best take advantage of its place in the global economy.


Paul Daemen
About The Author Paul Daemen
Paul Daemen has more than 30 years of multi-industry experience and hands-on knowledge in 54 countries. He has been involved in global marketing, strategic planning, operations, business development, and implementation. Paul also is an adjunct Professor at three universities.

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