Northern Exposure: Delaware’s new foreign trade representative to support local companies looking to do business in Canada

Date Posted: Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Categories:  Department of State International Trade Kent County New Castle County Sussex County

Canada offers the most promise to Delaware companies looking for trade and partnership opportunities abroad.

That was the message Delaware’s new foreign trade representative for Canada drove home to local business owners during a recent roundtable at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce.

“Canada is a neighbor and a natural partner,” said Ludovic Ortuno, an experienced international trade and development professional working and living in the Montreal area. “It has a well-developed, mature market with diverse industries organized into clusters, and a long and successful trading history with the U.S.”

Ortuno was recently engaged by Global Delaware to help Delaware businesses find partners in Canada. He works in-country to perform market research and analysis, develop product strategies for market entry, identify potential customers, provide in-country logistical, translational and related support services, and even negotiate with distributors on behalf of Delaware companies.

With many years of experience working with premier international trade and development agencies, Ortuno has an extensive understanding of what it takes to launch new products in Canada and other markets. “Ludovic is a seasoned trade expert and a strategic thinker. He can help companies with all aspects of marketing, find resources, identify the right partners and navigate Canadian rules and regulations,” noted Global Delaware Director Andrea Tinianow.

During the roundtable, Ortuno told participants that Canada is the largest export market for the U.S., with bilateral investment and trade between Canada and the United States reaching $1 trillion annually. Canada has the largest growth in GDP of the G-7 countries, he noted, and is ranked as the most favorable country with which to do business of the G-20. The International Monetary Fund predicts its Gross Domestic Product will grow consistently at 2 percent annually through 2020.

Ortuno cautioned that although Canada’s geographic proximity and comparable business culture make it an easier export target market, it is still a different country. “Canada is friendly to the U.S., but has its own certification processes, regulations, business and labor laws,” he explained. “Delaware companies need the proper tools and resources to successfully sell their goods and services across the border.”

State efforts to help companies seek opportunities abroad

Connecting Delaware businesses with foreign trade representatives is part of Global Delaware’s Strategic Export Plan to increase business opportunities and jobs for local companies. Foreign trade representatives have extensive contacts with in-country industry associations and government agencies, chambers of commerce and public and private organizations, as well as specialized expertise in assisting U.S. companies establish distributor and customer networks in their country markets.

In addition to developing a network of foreign trade representatives, Global Delaware will organize trade missions to key markets for qualifying businesses and provide access to an exhaustive database of international distributors.

“We want more Delaware companies to be part of the $1 billion that goes back and forth across the Canadian border daily,” Andrea Tinianow said. “We are building the bridges, tunnels and railways so our businesses can join the global economy; we are committed to getting them there.”

To learn more about Global Delaware, please visit:

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