Doing Businessin Canada

Canadian Market Insights and Covid-19 Supports

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a new set of challenges for the Canadian market.

Enterprise Ireland is responding to the global crisis by working with Irish exporters to help them avail of business response supports announced by the Government. These supports are designed to help businesses stabilise and adapt to the evolving situation, in preparation for getting back on the road to recovery.

Market Overview

Canada is the tenth largest economy in the world and Ireland’s 7th biggest trade partner outside the EU. Enterprise Ireland clients exported €358.6 million in 2020 which represented a 1% increase over 2019. It has a growing population of 38.1 million people and a positive and stable economic environment. Canada is an affluent, high-tech industrial society with a market-oriented economy, low inflation and high living standards. GDP per capita for Canada in 2020 was approximately €45,857.

38.1 Million Population (2021)

€358.6m Enterprise Ireland client exports in 2020

6,000 People Employed by Irish Companies in Canada

400+ Companies Actively Exporting

9th Largest Economy in the World

Well established Irish trade groups focused on bilateral business relationships

Get Export Ready

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is strengthening Ireland and Canada’s close trading relationship. CETA provides for significant savings on customs duties by eliminating duties on 99% of all tariff lines, of which 98% will already be scrapped at entry into force for Irish exporters and importers. It opens up the Canadian service market to Irish firms and enables Irish firms to bid for more Canadian public contracts. This encourages more investment between Ireland and Canada.

More than 400 Enterprise Ireland client companies are doing business in Canada, employing some 6,000 people across Canada in the fintech, life sciences, software, digital media and animation, education, food and construction sectors. Learn more and register for CETA benefits here.

Key Market Sectors

Enterprise Ireland is playing a key role in supporting ambitious companies seeking opportunities in Canada’s automotive, pharma, and medtech sectors.

Additionally, machinery, ICT, electronics, and chemicals continue to perform and add appeal to Irish exporters and service providers who want to scale, and develop a presence in the Canadian market.

Read more on Canada’s sectoral successes in our Going Global Guide.

  • 7th Biggest Trade Partner outside the EU.
  • 6,000 Canadians employed by Irish companies.
  • €3.8 billion bilateral investment

Doing Business

Canada is a vast country and too big to tackle all at once. Narrow your focus and increase your chances of success.

If working in Quebec or Ottawa, both French and English translations should be included in any presentation collateral.

Canadians prefer to work with a company that has already established a presence in their country. Demonstrating a local presence can reassure potential customers of ongoing support.

Best Routes to Market

Choosing the right route to market is very important.

Agents bring a deep understanding of local business practices and distributors can deliver products geographically across large nations. Joint ventures and acquisitions bring valuable established contacts, customers and market knowledge. Local representatives may not always be necessary with many global markets open to direct sales and prospecting from Ireland. Other markets require a ‘boots on the ground’ approach – the power of referrals and networking shouldn’t be underestimated. The key routes to market in Canada are through working with partners, remote servicing and third-party distributors. Download our Going Global Guide to Canada to find out more.

Before You Go

Before you go, we recommend you invest some time in researching the terrain before you explore the Canadian market. Here’s a few starting points to consider…

  1. Market Landscape
  2. Market Trends
  3. Target Market
  4. Market Segmentation
  5. Market Competition
  6. Market Research Resources

Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre offers client companies access to market intelligence in the form of company, sector, market, and country information to explore opportunities and compete in international markets.

Helping You Succeed

We are committed to helping you succeed in global markets and have an immense wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Canadian market.

Enterprise Ireland assists clients entering new markets with pre-visit support, in-market support, international trade events, additional supports and access to mentors.

Our Market Executives are always available to support you and provide business expertise and on-the-ground knowledge.

Canada Office
Lydia Rogers


Enterprise Ireland Toronto office
1 University Avenue
Suite 1604
Toronto ON M5J 2P1

00 14169345033