How Apex Brasil’s search for assistance in developing a strategy for China could lead them to the Canada Export Centre might seem puzzling to some. What value-add could the Canada Export Centre offer over Chinese firms, or companies in China’s bigger trading partners, namely the US?
Plenty, according to Experdito Silva, Project Manager at Brazil’s leading export promotion and development agency, Apex Brasil. Mr. Silva explained, “The Canada Export Centre’s established network of offices in China, knowledge of the market and proven export development process were critical factors in the decision. This is a trusted brand, and they were able to provide us with unique information and strategic options that will assist in developing a platform for sustainable growth in what is a new market for us.”
The Head of Market Development at the Canada Export Centre, Gerardo Sacramento, explained some of the challenges Apex Brasil and their clients face in gaining a foothold in China: Effectively valuing and segmenting markets can be very difficult, in large part due to a dearth of reliable statistics. You need to get creative: through interviews with leading associations and industry players along with analysis of raw data, it is possible to extrapolate accurate market sizing information, whether it’s from an application or competitive perspective. Armed with this information, Apex will be positioned to create or align achievable objectives and move forward with a plan for unlocking China’s potential. On what the next steps look like for Apex Brasil, Mr. Sacramento remarked, “Once you have conducted an assessment of the market, there are a number of issues to consider. Identifying a strong partner who can effectively build brand equity is key. Carefully analyzing the market structure, the key players and different routes to the end-user will uncover potential partners. In addition, coming up with a tactical plan for how to approach the market is critical. You need to consider all the costs including product modifications, promotional and distribution costs, not to mention your pricing strategy along with allocating the resources necessary to execute your plan. It’s not an overnight process, and we will work with our clients so that they understand this and cover all the bases.”
As a result of the China project, the Canada Export Centre is currently engaging Apex on projects into other regions. Specifically, one of the leading industrial product manufacturers in South America is working with the Canada Export Centre in order to devise a strategy for entry into Mexico, which would serve as a hub for the North American market. The project involves a staged approach, and will allow the company to make an informed decision over mode of entry. There is a lot at stake: the North American market for the company’s products is valued at well over US$15 billion, making the investment in better understanding the market and assessing the opportunities an absolute must.
Canada Exports goal is to help good companies build their businesses in overseas markets. If you would like to discuss your company’s goals, please feel free to contact us.
Mark Mensing, President & CEO