Rising US demand has generated an increase in Canadian exports, allowing for the first trade surplus in a year. Statistics Canada reported a 5.1 % increase in exports in March 2013 to $40.5 billion, with only a 1.7% increase in imports to $40.4 billion. Exports to the United States were responsible for three-quarters of the story, rising four per cent to $29.5 billion.
“The trade picture in the first quarter of 2013 certainly paints the story of an economy moving away from domestic demand driven growth, to one where the economic engines are being fuelled by trade,” said TD Bank economist Diana Petramala.
With increasing demand in the US, it vital for Canadian manufacturers to take advantage of export opportunities south of the border. The Government of Canada has facilitated this through Canadian business funding such as the Ontario Exporters Fund (OEF) and Export Market Access (EMA).
- OEF allows companies to become export-ready through the hiring of an export manager. The grant provides funding up to $40,000 a year for two years, covering a maximum of 50% of the salary.
- EMA is designed to provide companies easier access to foreign markets. Manufacturers can receive 50% of eligible costs up to $100000. Eligible categories include direct contacts, tradeshow expenditures and market research. If your company has plans for expansion, the government has programs in place to encourage you to increase your sales outside of Canada.