Trade Commissioner Service

The rise of global value chains presents many opportunities for SMEs. By integrating into a global production network, SMEs can expand their reach from the local to the global, capitalizing on a larger market with more efficient factors of production. Whatever method is chosen, SMEs can improve their domestic and global competitiveness, expanding their sales and increasing their profitability and long term sustainability. Moving to integrate with a global value chain is a big step for most SMEs and it is important to remember that your firm does not have to go it alone. There are many resources available to support SMEs in their international expansion. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) is dedicated to helping Canadian businesses succeed internationally. The TCS provides four key services. It supports firms by:

  1. helping prepare for international business;
  2. assisting with international market potential assessments;
  3. providing qualified market contacts; and
  4. guiding problem resolution when challenges arise.

Visit the Trade Commissioner Service website for additional information on our services and activities. You can also contact your nearest TCS office in Canada by calling 1-800-267-8376 (toll-free in Canada).


After reviewing the options for integrating with global value chains, many SMES may feel overwhelmed. Not only may the presented options seem daunting but they may also seem prohibitively expensive. Although it is true that many of the strategies require substantial investment, SMEs should not dismiss them as unachievable or unfeasible. There are many services, both private and publicly funded, which can assist SMEs with financing their international business endeavours.

Export Development Canada (EDC) is Canada's export credit agency. They understand that SMEs often need financing to support their international strategies. Whether to pay for the up-front costs associated with the production of a large export order, to expand into new markets, or to respond to a buyer's request for financing, EDC offers innovative financing, insurance and risk management solutions to help Canadian firms expand their business internationally. With approximately 80% of their customers being small and medium sized businesses, EDC has valuable experience in working with SMEs and is familiar with their financing needs. For more information on EDC's financing services please visit their website.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is a financial institution owned by the Government of Canada which is dedicated to supporting Canadian businesses through financing, venture capital and consulting services. They work with entrepreneurs in all industries and are committed to helping businesses move forward with their development projects, both local and global. Dedicated to Canadian entrepreneurship, BDC has a special focus on SMEs in sectors such as manufacturing, exporting, innovation and knowledge based industries. For more information on BDC's financing services please visit their website.

Additional Resources

For more information on the various elements of this guide please see the additional resources listed below.

Global Value Chain Information
Selling into a Global Value Chain
Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA)
Joint Ventures and Strategic Partnerships

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