How to decide if it’s feasible for your company to diversify into new global markets

30/07/2018

Pink flamingo surrounded by white birds at sea shore

Pink flamingo surrounded by white birds at sea shore
Trade diversification has become a key focus of the Canadian government amid rising uncertainty with the United States, Canada’s largest trading partner. A similar story is playing out in several countries where the volatile global trade environment has given a new priority to mitigating export risk – a large part of GDPs worldwide.

Canadian companies send 75% of their goods exports to the United States.

Newly appointed Small Business and Export Diversification Minister, Mary Ng says Canadian companies should look further afield for opportunities.

“Right now, Canada has preferential market access to 14 trade agreements and 51 countries. This is a real opportunity for us. The U.S. continues to be an important export market to us, but I also think there is a great opportunity to enable our small business to access these other markets as well,” Ng said.

If that inspires you to look to new global markets beyond North America, you’re in luck. There have never been more resources, tools, advisors, and funding available for companies of all sizes to expand their business into new export markets.

Wondering if your company is ready to go into new export markets? Learn how to determine whether new trade opportunities are viable, and if the potential benefits outweigh the risks and costs! Get started today with the FITTskills Feasibility of International Trade online course.

Enrol now!

But before you get started, the first thing on the agenda has to be determining – Is it feasible for my company to diversify into new global markets?

We put this question to the experts in this month’s live #TradeElite Twitter chat and got so much great advice, insights and words of wisdom, we couldn’t fit it all in one article. Highlights of the chat are below, and you can scroll through the #TradeElite hashtag to follow the entire chat.

Panelists:

Nicole Verkindt (@nicoleverkindt) Founder + CEO @Offsetmarket – A procurement platform, driving diversity in supply chains, measures and tracking economic impacts – Dragon, CBC’s NextGenDen – The Pitch – Toronto, ON

Elise Racicot (@elise_racicot) CanExport program manager, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service – Funding program of the Trade Commissioner Service that aims to assist Canadian SMEs looking to diversify their exports, enter in a new market or export for the first time – Ottawa, ON

Yvonne Gruenthaler (@TCS_YvonneG) Trade Commissioner, Clean technologies – Remediation lead, Global Affairs Canada, based in the Prairie North Region ( AB, SK, MB, and NWT) – Calgary, AB

Paul Walters (@LimeTreeEurope) Managing Director, LimeTree Europe Limited – Connecting people with product, sourcing, import, export, manufacturing and supply chain – Halifax, UK

Igor Chigrin, CITP (@winglobal_igor) Export & Import Consultant, Win Global Partners – Helping Local Businesses Become #Global by providing them with information, tools, training and coaching they need to start or expand their export and import business – Richmond Hill, ON

With so much trade uncertainty, we are hearing a lot about the need for businesses to “diversify” their markets. What does this mean exactly? What are the advantages?

We’ve established that it makes sense to diversify. How can businesses begin to assess whether it’s feasible for them to reach into new international markets?

We heard that diversifying all starts with research! Should businesses tackle their own market research or is it helpful to outsource this type of task – particularly for SMEs with limited capacity?

If businesses should look beyond the U.S. for their import/export markets, where are some good opportunities for these companies?

What are some key considerations for companies expanding into new global markets? Product adaptation? Regulations? Marketing/Translation?

What are some pitfalls/redflags to avoid when taking your business beyond Canada/U.S.?

Here’s a common concern – With the rapid trade policy changes and seemingly unstable trade environment – How can one assess country and political risk in a potential new market?

Read the rest of the chat and join future discussions by following the #TradeElite hashtag. And stay tuned for the next #TradeElite chat, coming up Thursday, August 23 at 2:30-3:30PM ET, and if you haven’t yet, join us on Twitter at @FITTNews.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing participants, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Pamela Hyatt

Author: Pamela Hyatt

I am a Content Marketing Specialist for the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). You can find some of my work on TradeReady.ca. My background is in copywriting, journalism and social media. My passion lies in connecting people to the stories that are most important to them.

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