British Columbia has a strong, supportive business environment for startup companies, entrepreneurs and growing industries. Local businesses that are ready to expand into new markets have resources at their disposal. Exporters can find programs to help determine export readiness and to prepare them for successful expansion; in-market experts who can provide insights, contacts and networking opportunities; and domestic experts who can share the benefits of free trade agreements. British Columbia and Canada have developed positive international relationships through free trade agreements.
There are several programs available to facilitate the export process for B.C. businesses. The Export Navigator
program offers access to six regionally based export specialists who can provide a company with a free, personalized, step-by-step approach to exporting and connect businesses to market information, financial services and business development experts. In addition, there are three sector-based specialists with expertise to assist companies led by Indigenous peoples, women and youth.
The Trade Accelerator Program
provides similar services to companies in the Greater Vancouver area. There are also federal funding and program options
through the Canada Trade Commissioners.
The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade International e-Commerce Essentials
program focuses on online sales and helps businesses create an integrated online strategy to drive global sales.
Not sure if you’re export-ready? Learn how to prepare your business for international markets and access resources that can help. Get export-ready
Contacts and Networking Opportunities
Trade and Invest British Columbia has a global network of representatives who can provide in-market expertise. They have contacts across industries as well as knowledge of available business sites, opportunities and protocols. Connect with one of our in-market representatives
to learn more.
Trade shows, conferences and symposia are not only great networking opportunities – attendees also learn market interests, regional sales tactics and business culture, and how competitors are managing. Exporters can also visit our events page
or the Canada Trade Commissioner’s events page
for trade shows and events that will let them explore markets and competition.
Free Trade Agreements
Free trade agreements
make it easier and more efficient to do business by outlining clear rules that increase predictability, reduce tariffs to cut costs and eliminate other trade barriers to streamline processes. They also offer a fair and effective dispute-resolution mechanism.
Canada's extensive range of trade agreements gives British Columbia favourable access to markets around the world. Canada is a member of the World Trade Organization and is party to 14 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements covering 51 countries. Learn more about how these agreements make it easier to do business internationally. Stay tuned for webinars and events as well as news about international and domestic trade or contact Trade.Policy@gov.bc.ca
directly with any questions.
Coming up on our blog: we’re continuing a series highlighting the economic regions of British Columbia, a series highlighting resilience across key sectors and this series on market insights. Follow us on LinkedIn
for regular updates.