Europe

Europe is a key strategic partner for British Columbia - representing an important export market of more than 700 million people and is the leading source of global foreign investment. The European Union block of 28 countries is the second largest economy in the world and its trade and investment relationship with Canada has been given a significant boost by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

Looking ahead, there is good potential to expand our exports of energy, wood products, metallic minerals, biomass and international education. There are also opportunities in the technology specialties of life sciences, clean technology and information and communications technology.

Europe is often the first or second international market for Canadian companies, based on ease of doing business and a common foundation of shared business practices and traditions. This results in strong potential to expand B.C. exports of both traditional resources – wood products and biomass, metallic minerals and agrifood – as well as emerging technologies such as biotech, medical devices, clean technology and information and communications technology solutions.

 


Key Sector Opportunities for Exporters

Agrifoods

The European Union is among the largest importers of agricultural products in the world.  Key import commodities include fish and crustaceans, edible fruits and nuts, food waste and animal feed. Europe is an important export market for value-added products including pet food, frozen fruit, frozen lobster and frozen scallops. 

B.C. exporters should ensure that they are compliant with European labelling, food safety and phytosanitary requirements. 

See what B.C. companies are exporting to the world:
Agrifood & Seafood Export-Ready Business Catalogue (English)

Learn more about export opportunities for our Agrifoods sector.

 

Forestry

The greatest opportunity for forest sector export growth from British Columbia to Europe is in the area of biomass. Green energy policies in Europe encourage companies there to switch from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources such as renewable wood fuel. As a result, the European demand for wood pellets has increased significantly in recent years.

Learn more about export opportunities for our forestry sector. 

 

Digital & Interactive Media

Digital and interactive media is a significant and mature export market for B.C. digital entertainment companies. Strong linkages exist between Vancouver and London, and B.C. companies tend to be more comfortable doing business in Europe due to market and culture familiarity, as well as closer product similarity.

Learn more about export opportunities for our Digital and Interactive Media sector.

 

Wireless Technology

Growing demand for information and communications technology services, and wireless devices and applications, gives B.C. exporters substantial opportunities for growth. Germany is the strongest of these markets, followed by France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Learn more about export opportunities for our Wireless Technology sector.

 

Clean Technology

Europe is a key market for clean technologies, due to the range and rigour of its legislation and financial support for carbon reduction and environmental protection.  It is characterised by a high number of reliable, environmentally motivated multinational enterprises.  A number of E.U. countries have aggressive renewable energy targets driving the need for sophisticated grid solutions.  This is a distinct area of opportunity for B.C. companies.
 
Europe remains the largest global market for wood pellets (including those from B.C.) and continues to drive policy on sustainability of biomass and biofuels.

Learn more about export opportunities for our Clean Technology sector.
 

Life Sciences

Europe represents a sophisticated, significant and well-established export market for B.C. life sciences companies. Europe has several clusters specializing in pharma and biopharma, as well as medical devices. Europe also has a significant digital health hub in the U.K. and Germany. A key focus in Europe is integrated solutions to support affordable and high quality health care.

Learn more about export opportunities for our life sciences sector.

 

Trade Agreements

Canada has free trade agreements with the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association. These agreements provide Canadian companies with valuable market access and other business advantages when doing business in Europe.

Read about the opportunities for B.C. businesses, investors and workers in international trade agreements with Europe.