Canada is a high-income country, rich in raw materials, with an advanced agricultural sector and an important industrial base.

The stability of the political and economic system, the presence of certain rules and the rule of law, labor market conditions, the cost of production factors and access to credit, combined with the appreciation of Italian products and the policy of openness to international trade traditionally followed by the country, make Canada an extremely attractive market for Italian companies interested in increasing their exports or internationalizing their production.

Since September 21, 2017, the CETA "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" between the European Union and Canada has been applied. The Agreement, in addition to the almost total liberalization of tariff lines, provides for measures such as the opening of Canadian public procurement to European companies, the protection of a series of geographical indications, the facilitation of the movement of workers and privileged treatment in the field of investments.

Canada has also been part of a free trade agreement with the USA and Mexico (NAFTA) since 1994, which has recently been renegotiated between the Parties. The new version of the Agreement, called USMCA (CUSMA in the Canadian wording), was signed on November 30, 2018, and came into force on July 1, 2020. A further important step in the field of openness to international trade was taken by Canada in 2018, with the entry into force, from December 30, of the CPTPP "Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership", concluded between 11 countries in the Pacific area.

As for bilateral trade, data from the Canadian National Statistics Agency, Statistics Canada, show that in 2020 Italy, despite the crisis, confirmed itself as the seventh-largest supplier overall, the second-largest European supplier, after Germany.

In 2020, imports of Italian goods to Canada amounted to 9 billion CAD, a decrease of 5.0% compared to the previous year, against approximately 3.7 billion CAD of Canadian exports to Italy (source Statistics Canada). The trade balance is therefore favorable to Italy with a very significant positive balance, in the order of 5.3 billion CAD. After closing 2019 with a growth of 5%, 2020 also started positively for our country, and the increase in Italian exports to Canada in the first two months of 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year was 8.6%.

In 2021, imports of Italian goods to Canada amounted to 4,8 mld EUR (+13,2%; source Sace S.p.A.) and 2022 forecasts are also positive with a +12% compared to 2021, for a total of exports of around 5,4 mld EUR (source Sace S.p.A.).

Due to the pandemic, there has been a slowdown in trade, however, the Italian decline was the most moderate among all major Canadian trading partners, after China and South Korea.

Among the main sectors of our exports are machinery, motor vehicles and means of transport, beverages and alcoholic beverages (wine in particular) and food products. In the latter sector, Italy is the leading European supplier to Canada (fourth worldwide). Imports from Canada to Italy mainly concern mineral products, chemical products, and machinery.

Not only exports, Canada is also a place to be considered for foreign direct investments. Thanks to the above-mentioned stability of the political and economic system, the presence of certain rules and the rule of law, abundant natural resources, modern infrastructures and the easy access to the US market, Canada is an ideal location to invest for new commercial or industrial projects. The country offers a very favorable business environment with also competitive tax system and efficient regulation. 

Published in EXP Legal
SIMEST Equity Loans (“Prestito Partecipativo” in Italian) and Venture Capital Fund represent a unique opportunity for Italian companies looking to expand their presence on international markets. By acquiring minority stakes in Italian companies or in their foreign subsidiaries, SIMEST provides financial and strategic support to help these businesses grow and succeed in the global marketplace.

SIMEST, a subsidiary of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, is committed to supporting Italian companies in their internationalization efforts. In particular, through its “Equity Loans”, SIMEST acquires minority stakes in these businesses using either its own resources or, for foreign investments, those of the Venture Capital Fund. This approach helps support investments abroad as a long-term minority institutional investor, either by acquiring stakes in foreign subsidiaries or by investing in Italian companies themselves, provided they use the resources for investments in innovation and research to gain a better position on foreign markets.

In addition to the direct investments by SIMEST, the company offers public assistance at excellent conditions in association with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. This assistance can be combined with a Venture Capital Fund investment solely for direct investments abroad, further boosting the financial support available for international expansion projects.

The combined investments by SIMEST and the Venture Capital Fund may reach up to 49% of the foreign company’s capital and may not exceed the Italian promoter company’s stake. Duration of the investment: up to 8 years.

Furthermore, for investments in non-EU countries, interest grants are available to bring down the cost of the loan that the promoter company agrees with a third-party bank to finance its investment in the foreign company’s capital.

The benefits of using SIMEST Equity Loans and Venture Capital Fund for Italian companies are numerous. First and foremost, access to financial resources enables businesses to support their growth and expansion on foreign markets, increasing their global presence and competitiveness. Furthermore, SIMEST's strategic support and international network of contacts facilitate entry into new markets and the establishment of valuable partnerships.

Moreover, the long-term nature of SIMEST's investment as a minority institutional investor helps Italian companies maintain control of their businesses while still enjoying the advantages of additional financial resources. This balance ensures that companies can successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities that arise during international expansion efforts.

Finally, the collaboration between SIMEST and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ensures that Italian companies receive comprehensive support that caters to their specific needs. This partnership maximizes the effectiveness of public assistance and promotes the internationalization of Italian businesses.

In conclusion, SIMEST Equity Loans and Venture Capital Fund provide an invaluable resource for Italian companies seeking to expand and establish themselves on international markets. Through the financial and strategic support offered by SIMEST, Italian companies can overcome barriers to international expansion, enhance their competitiveness in the global market, and contribute to the growth and development of Italy's economy.


Our team at EXP Legal remains committed to assisting you with any legal aspects related to international expansion and ensuring that you have the proper guidance and support throughout the process. Should you have any questions or require further information on how to leverage Simest's support for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Published in EXP Legal
The United Arab Emirates is ranked as 16th in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2020. It has scored 80.9 out of 100 for ease of doing business and has been the strongest performer in the Middle East and in North Africa. The UAE government, recognizing and believing that the modernization of legal systems goes hand in hand with economic advancement and social progress, has passed a new law on June 15th 2022 on commercial agencies.

The new law, which repeals a 40 year long legislation, increases the region’s attractiveness and competitiveness of the business environment in order to keep pace with future economic trends.

As under the old law, a commercial agency under the new law includes the agent acting on behalf of the principal for a commission including the distributor buying from the principal and selling on its own account in the territory. The new commercial agency law defines an agent to include (i) a natural person who is a UAE national, (ii) a private or public legal person such as a corporate entity and (iii) international companies in certain limited cases and only if allowed by the cabinet in the future.

Only those private companies owned by UAE nationals can be commercial agents. Most importantly, international companies subject to the Cabinet approval and further definition of requirements, can in future, become commercial agents of their own business provided they meet the following criteria which are (i) they do not already have a commercial agent in the UAE and (ii) they are new to the market and did not previously have a registered commercial agency in the market.

When it comes to terminating an agency contract, the new commercial agency law allows for two additional ways of terminating the agency contract which are either upon the expiration of the contract term provided it has not been renewed by the parties or upon unilateral termination by either party as per the conditions stipulated in the agency contract.

In cases of non-renewals of a limited term agency contract principals must pay attention to the notice periods provided for by the new commercial agency law. The party not wishing to renew the contract must notify the other party of the non-renewal one year before the expiration of the term or before the lapse of one half of the contract term whichever period is shorter unless the parties agree otherwise. In general, the agent will be entitled to claim compensation from the principal for the damages that occurred as a result of the expiration or termination. In case of an expiration at the end of the contract term, this compensation can contractually be excluded.

Published in EXP Legal
The Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI of Ukraine) on the basis of Art. 14, 14’ of the Law of Ukraine "On Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine" of 02.12.1997 № 671/97-VR, the Statute of the CCI of Ukraine, evidenced force majeure circumstances (force majeure): military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which led to the imposition of martial law from 05:30 on February 24, 2022 for 30 days, according to the Decree of the President of Ukraine of February 24, 2022 № 64/2022 "On the imposition of martial law in Ukraine".

Considering the above-mentioned, the CCI of Ukraine has confirmed that these circumstances from February 24, 2022 until their official ending, are extraordinary, unavoidable and objective circumstances for business entities and / or individuals under the contract, separate tax and / or other obligations the fulfillment of which occurred in accordance with the terms of the contract, agreement, legislative or other regulations and the fulfillment of which became impossible in the set deadline due to the occurrence of such force majeure circumstances (force majeure).

The certification of force majeure is available at the following link.
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The book “Contratti internazionali. Manuale teorico-pratico. Principi generali - Tecniche di negoziazione - Tavole di comparazione” (International Agreements. Theoretical/practical Handbook. General principles - Negotiation techniques - Comparative tables), Pacini Giuridica, 2022, written by Giorgio Cherubini, Stefano Rossi and Giancarlo Cherubini, respectively Founding Partner, Senior Associate and Associate of EXP Legal, was recently released.

Published in EXP Legal
Monday, 10 February 2020 08:00

The new EU-Singapore Partnership Agreements

Authors: Stefano Rossi, Eugenio Del Monte

The trade agreement between the EU and the Republic of Singapore approved by the European Parliament last November 8 entered into force on 21 November, 2019. The article focuses on the contents of the agreement and the main benefits that derive for Italian companies.

Published in EXP Legal

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