For Canadian companies looking to go global, Europe is an increasingly attractive destination. Europe is already Canada’s second largest commercial partner after the U.S., and according to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, our merchandise exports to Europe rose over 25% in 2007. Exports of Canadian goods to the European Union (EU) were $39.6 billion, with goods imported from the EU totaling $42.5 billion.
So, how should Canadian companies prepare for entering this potentially lucrative market? In part, by getting ready for the banking environment. Perhaps because of the euro and close ties within the EU, "many foreign companies perceive Europe as more homogenous than it is," says Daniel Reynolds, Director and Head of Developed Markets, Global Financial Institutions, for RBC Capital Markets in London. "That isn’t the case today when it comes to banking practices and clearing systems."
To ensure their success, Canadian firms doing business in Europe need to understand and plan for European markets — including banking practices.
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