LI businesses may find market opportunities in Canada

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By Dan Sears

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Long Island businesses seeking to enter international markets may find opportunity in Canada.

Canada is the largest export market for businesses on Long Island, as well as across the United States, according to the Long Island Association, the region’s largest business group.

And with its ease of entry, Canada is also the initial point of international expansion for businesses.

At a recent LIA event at the organization’s Melville headquarters, experts in trade, finance and logistics, as well as a representative from the Canadian government were on hand to discuss opportunities for companies looking to expand in Canada.

“Fostering international export relationships is a lucrative option for businesses on Long Island to grow and expand,” Matt Cohen, LIA president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement.

“The United States and Canada share the largest contiguous international border and have a long history of friendly diplomatic relations, making the country a logical choice for companies who are navigating international trade for the first time,” Cohen added. “I want to thank the experts for providing guidance to Long Island businesses, including LIA Board Member John Costanzo and the government of Canada for their partnership.”

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This event was held in collaboration with the Canadian Consulate General of Canada in New York, which is part of the government of Canada, and the MAPLE Business Council, a not-for-profit that fosters trade relationships between U.S. and Canada and of which Costanzo is executive director of its New York chapter.

“For small to mid-sized businesses and larger companies located on Long Island that haven’t yet expanded outside of the U.S., Canada offers an excellent opportunity to expand to a market with a consumer population the size of California,” Costanzo said in a written statement. “Moreover, the USMCA trade agreement has created a very favorable business environment for U.S. based companies.”

At the event, panelists shared insights on exporting, financing an expansion, freight transportation across the border, and the role of the Consulate General of Canada in supporting relationships between the U.S. and Canada.

“The trade relationship between Canada and the United States is critical for the growth of both of our economies,” Robert McCubbing, consul and senior trade commissioner of the Consulate General of Canada in New York said in a written statement.

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“For example, exports from Nassau and Suffolk Counties alone to Canada are valued at nearly $1.5 billion annually,” he said. “Trade is projected to continue to grow in innovative sectors, and we are here to support Long Island companies at they explore investment in to Canada.”

Panelists included Andrea Ratay, head of global trade finance at TD Bank, who also chairs the New York District Export Council, and Frank Jacketti, director of U.S. districts for Purolator International.

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