Skip to main content

Enterprise Ireland’s top tips for entering the Canadian market

Canada is the tenth-largest economy in the world and Ireland’s 7th biggest trade partner outside the EU

If you are considering doing business in Canada, please be sure to reach out to our team in Toronto.

  • Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world with 10 Provinces and 3 Territories – companies approaching the market often have to think region by region in sourcing distribution, identifying partners, winning customers and setting-up beachhead sales operations.
  • Canada is officially a bilingual country which means many products and services must offer English and French to participate in procurement or Request for Proposal processes – for example, there are strict bilingual labelling requirements across Canada and which are not just confined to French-speaking Quebec.
  • While Canada is often seen as an excellent proving ground and valuable reference site for the wider North America market, it is crucial to display knowledge and responsiveness to the distinct needs of Canadian customers, local regulatory requirements and differences in business practice, something which applies to the complex, multi-stakeholder buying processes we see in the Healthcare and Telco sectors.
  • The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a trade deal between Canada and the EU which reduces friction for Irish companies doing business in Canada – 99% of tariffs no longer apply for physical goods which is a real cost saving for the apparel, engineering and construction sectors among others.
  • Canadians prefer to work with a company that has already established a presence in the market. The importance of demonstrating local presence can be an important way to gain trust and to reassure potential customers of the availability of your on-going support. Canada is a welcoming country when it comes to entrepreneurs, investors, and talent, including from Ireland, and is, as a result, attracting significant business to tech hubs such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

Enterprise Ireland is committed to helping Irish firms succeed in global markets and have experts on hand, ready to help you access the Canadian market.

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

For more, download our Going Global Guide

If you would like to know what to prepare ahead of your first MA call, click the graphic below

  • Share this article