Portugal’s economy is evolving and adapting to new industries which are technology intensive, innovative and globally competitive. These developments enhance opportunities for Portuguese companies to increase exports and build strong business ties with Canadian companies. Some of the advantages that Portuguese companies could derive from exporting to Canada include catering to a strong growing economy, a diversified ethnic population (including about half a million Canadian Portuguese), easy access to the US market, and the pending comprehensive economic trade agreement (CETA), that will reduce tariff and non tariff trade barriers and make the Portuguese products and services competitive in the North American market.
Once approved, the CETA will remove over 99% of tariffs between the two economies and according to the EU commission it is expected to increase two-way bilateral trade in goods and services between EU and Canada by 23% or 26 billion. The agreement would also allow Portuguese companies to gain from increased access to the Canadian public procurement markets. Portuguese companies will also have better access to key
Canadian sectors such as financial services, telecommunications, energy and maritime transport.
In 2014, bilateral merchandising trade between Portugal and Canada increased by 15%, from $611 million in 2013 to over 702 million in 2014. Portuguese export to Canada has been growing incrementally over the years, in 2014 it exceeding $511 million. Some of the products that Portugal exports to Canada are wine, electric motor and generator parts, leather shoes and boots, furniture, linen, T shirts, frozen seafood, etc. Although the export of these products has grown over the years, it is still a small percentage when compared to overall Canadian imports of these products. For example, Canadas import of Portuguese wine is about 3 percent of its total import of wines.
Besides enhancing products already being exported to Canada, Portuguese companies can also look at opportunities offered because of developments in shipbuilding, air-defense, safety and security, mining, and renewable energy in Canada. With CETA coming into effect soon, it would be pertinent for every Portuguese organization to ask themselves the question can we get a bite of the Canadian market and if they are already getting a bite can we get a bigger bite? If the answer is yes, now is the time to act!!!
Sheriff Thaver, Consultant Market Access – Canada An Article publish at the Portuguese Newspaper, Diário de Aveiro.