A recent report by the international trade development arm of the Toronto Region Board of Trade said that Toronto companies that are looking to grow their export business should look towards European countries in addition to Asia.
“Europe presents the most opportunities for Toronto region businesses seeking to export,” – World Trade Centre Toronto
The report, which focused on small and medium enterprises, said that the European Union’s Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is on the verge of implementation. Toronto-based businesses should be actively exploring business opportunities in Europe and working with international trade service providers.
Ontario companies should diversify exports, the report said. There was a risk of going under if more than 75 per cent of revenue came from a single customer and since most of the Ontario-based exports are destined for the United States it was time to diversify, the report said.
Toronto has the second-highest concentration of industries in North America that makes goods that are suitable for export making it ideal for trade with Europe. International trade could result in better opportunities for the region.
“Europe presents the most opportunities for Toronto region businesses seeking to export.”
“There are tremendous growth markets for our sectors, it’s a question of getting them comfortable with exporting and also getting the information they need to know about which markets to pursue,” said Jan De Silva, president and chief executive officer, Toronto Region Board of Trade.
The report also stated that Canadian trade data needs to be updated and made easier to understand. New industries that have sprung up in recent years should also be tracked. Data tracking should be made better at both the city and municipal levels, the report said.
If Canadian small and medium companies increased exports, then there could be an additional $255 billion that could be made in the export sector, according to experts. The report said just 500 businesses now do 76 per cent of Canadian goods exports.
The top sectors in which export activities are likely were listed as aerospace, automotive, food and beverages, human health and sciences and three emerging sectors – Financial technology, Citytech (smart cities software, infrastructure) and Cleantech (solar panel manufacturing, wind turbines, water conservation technology.)
While Asia remains the second largest in terms of opportunities and one of the most visited regions for trade-related deals, it is now time to look towards Europe with a more serious approach to exports.