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Export Insights Report 2018: Expert Strategies for Succeeding Abroad in Uncertain Times

November 16, 2017

For exporters, turbulence has become par for the course.

A year since the surprise results of the 2016 U.S. election, the nearly 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement is on the ropes, the long-awaited Trans-Pacific Partnership appears dead on arrival and protectionist trade rhetoric is no longer reserved for fringe policymakers. Across the Atlantic, the United Kingdom continues to negotiate its reluctant split from the European Union, while elsewhere, the emerging economies of countries such as China, India and Brazil continue to build up steam, bringing profound change to the long-standing economic order. Despite the changing landscape, Canadian exporters aren’t running for cover—and they shouldn’t be. 

This industry report, produced by CanadianManufacturing.com in partnership with Grant Thornton LLP, bexplores Canadian export strategies for trade in uncertain times. The report highlights data from a national survey of more than 350 Canadian industrial executives and key outcomes from a follow-on roundtable of industry experts. 

Highlights from the report include:

  •      92 per cent began exporting to the U.S. before entering other markets
  •      Less than half surveyed (42%) have a comprehensive exporting strategy
  •      The Trump factor. Only 13 per cent have a plan to adjust their current export strategy but only 8 per cent expect their export to grow under the new administration. An overwhelming 87 per cent recognize the importance of looking beyond the U.S. for future exports
  •      Currency fluctuations are regarded as the largest single challenge, with 29 per cent of respondents citing it as a concern. Transportation and logistics issues were a close second at 27 per cent
  •      Less than 10 per cent report major exporting failures over the past 24 months, but 35 per cent cited a lack of supply chain visibility as the major reason for failure 
  •      60 per cent of respondents report technology such as ERP for supply chain visibility important to their exporting success
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