PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
BLACK COUNTRY INTERNATIONAL
OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESSES ACROSS CANADA
This month Prosper talks to Nav Sandhu, a Senior Trade Officer at the Department for International Trade in Canada.
Nav covers the Infrastructure and Rail sectors and is part of a small team of four, who work tirelessly to unearth commercial opportunities for UK suppliers within the numerous infrastructure projects taking place across the country. His focus specifically in Eastern Canada, within the provinces of Ontario and Québec.
“The infrastructure sector in Canada is robust and brimming with opportunities for exporters to tap into,” said Nav, “Canada has a rapidly growing population and economy, and its federal government is responding through heavy investments in infrastructure in order to sustain and promote economic and social development for the future.
"Priority sectors include transportation and connectivity, social infrastructure, green infrastructure, sustainable energy, water and wastewater, and the development of Indigenous communities/infrastructure,” Nav told Prosper.
“The provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta present the most significant project pipelines in both civil and social infrastructure. Anticipated increases in spending, longer-term visionary projects, and the encouragement of international participation to bring capacity and innovation to the market signals immense opportunities for UK suppliers.
Canada’s ‘Top 100 Infrastructure Projects’, across all major verticals, alone amounts to over CAD$240B (£140B.”
While the Canadian market offers a breadth of opportunities across the infrastructure spectrum, an influx of foreign exporters has made the market extremely competitive.
“Therefore, as a team,” said Nav, “we strive to build strong relationships with in-market, public and private stakeholder’s in order to present the UK offer, and accumulate business intelligence.
This allows us to provide accurate industry information to UK suppliers, which assists them in their export journey and assures that they remain competitive within the Canadian market. We dedicate a lot of energy to dissecting major infrastructure projects so that we can uncover real-time market gaps and opportunities that match the UK’s strengths and capabilities.
“Whether working with large corporate entities or SME’s, we take our time to provide each supplier with a realistic perspective of the Canadian market.
"We do so through providing detailed export advice, introductions to local stakeholders, and hosting industry events and forums – these mechanisms allow both the suppliers and ourselves to determine if Canada is a viable option for exporting.”
There are many variables that set Canada apart from other markets – the climate, the vast geography, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional landscape, are all factors that are considered when the team advise prospective suppliers.
“But our consistent piece of advice is to encourage UK suppliers to invest their time in being physically present in-market,” said Nav.
“Building trust through strong professional relationships with local stakeholders ensures their success in the market – and we are here to help you do just that!
“We work closely with our counterparts at the Canadian High Commission in London to help make your export journey as seamless as possible.”