Some Canadian companies and individuals seek opportunities to export their goods or talents. If you’re one of them, how do you get potential foreign business associates to notice you?
There are many ways you can drum up export business. You can make contacts in a foreign country starting with foreign consulates, find a local mentor or investor and develop a supply chain.
Or you can start more simply, by registering your company on the federal government-run Canadian Company Capabilities (CCC)
Canadian businesses have much to offer the world. We ranked second among 80 nations evaluated in the recently published 2017 Best Countries Report in U.S. News & World Report magazine. Canada is the largest trading partner of the United States. The biggest economic driver is the service sector, but it’s also a significant exporter of energy, food and minerals. Canada ranks third in the world in proven oil reserves and is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.
The country’s top exports1 are:
|1. Vehicles (16.5% of total exports)
2. Mineral fuels including oil (16%)
3. Machinery including computers (7.7%)
4. Gems and precious metals (4.8%)
5. Wood (3.4%)
|6. Electrical machinery and equipment (3.2%)
7. Plastics and plastic articles (3.1%)
8. Aircraft and spacecraft (2.6%)
9. Pharmaceuticals (2.2%)
10. Aluminum (2.1%)
Clearly there is ample opportunity to provide goods and services beyond your borders, and CCC can help. (It can also be used to find suppliers, services and technology in Canada.)
The website houses an Industry Canada database of more than 60,000 Canadian businesses. Over 500,000 domestic and international companies browse the site each month looking for Canadian businesses that can fulfill their needs.
The database includes hundreds of specialized product, service and manufacturing directories. Each directory has an advanced search capacity and the business profiles contain comprehensive information on contacts, products, services, trade experience and technology.
Registration is free and the site lets businesses create profiles and custom printable reports. It’s specifically designed to help companies find enterprises that can supply the goods, services and technology they need.
The main page lists the 20 broad industries that the database includes, each with its own subcategories. Among the main industries, users will find:
Finance and Insurance
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
Users can then search subcategories. For example, under the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services category, subcategories include:
Offices of Accountants
|Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services
Computer Systems Design
Scientific Research and Development Services
Users may also browse by specialized directories, such as businesses owned by Aboriginals or women, Canadian social enterprises, Aerospace & Defence and aftermarket exporters, to name a few.
Searches can be refined by many factors including company name, province or territory, city, postal code, product or service, number of employees, total sales and export sales.
So, let’s say a company is looking for a business that supplies industrial moulds. That term can be entered into the search function on the site and an alphabetical list of links and brief descriptions of businesses pops up.
Each link takes you to that company’s profile page with more detailed information, including:
Drill deeper and you can find information about a company’s product names, licenses and export experience, such as where it generally exports.
And it isn’t just businesses that list here. Under the category of Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, a single performer from Calgary, Alberta, lists himself as:
|“A one-man physical comedy show performed around the world [that] has been booked on cruise ships, exhibition, festivals, county & state fairs. The United States is our main export … has also showcased his talents in Singapore, Asia and Europe. We also book other entertainment for a variety of events in Canada from coast to coast.”|
Participation in CCC generally is open to all Canadian businesses and related organizations, although Industry Canada reserves the right to exclude enterprises that:
Registration is simple. You first set up an Industry Canada account (the site supplies a link) and then create a CCC username and password. The accuracy and reliability of the information you provide is up to you and you’re expected to monitor it and modify it when necessary.
CCC also lists other company directories, including the Canadian Trade Index, Contact Canada, FRASERS, Profile Canada and Scott’s Canadian Business Directory and Database.
If you’re looking to expand your business, CCC could be a good place to start to make your company more noticeable and gather ideas for expanding its operations abroad.
1Source: World’s Top Exports, an independent education and research website.