Why work with CCC when pursuing deals with global governments

CCC is committed to helping Canadian companies grow by helping them to sell their products and services to foreign governments. Learn more about CCC’s approach when partnering with Canadian companies.   

Contracts with non-U.S. governments

CCC uses an approach called government to government (G2G) contracting to connect Canadian companies with governments around the world. The model is ideal when a foreign government buyer has a need but no RFP has been issued yet, specifications may not be defined — and there’s a Canadian company ready to meet it. This creates an opening for an unsolicited proposal. So how does it work, exactly, when you have CCC on your team?

Canada’s G2G procurement approach

Explaining the benefits of Canada’s G2G to government buyers 

 A “Team Canada” approach

Once an opportunity is identified, the first step is to familiarize the foreign government buyer with the G2G procurement option — and Canada’s unique approach to reduce procurement contract risk.

When the Canadian business has a relationship with the buyer, they can introduce CCC who can provide details about G2G contracting approach. In other cases, we might work directly with local contacts or through the Canadian embassy to set up meetings and introduce the option of contracting on a government to government basis to meet the foreign government’s project needs.

Rizk explains that outside of specific opportunities, the CCC team and its partners in Canadian embassies abroad also engage in ongoing advocacy to raise the profile of Canadian businesses and the G2G option.

“We’ll work with Global Affairs Canada to keep track of foreign dignitaries visiting Canada and Canadian ministers’ trips abroad, and where and when it’s appropriate, build political advocacy for pursuits into their meeting agendas.”

Careful preparation

While every deal is different, Rizk says there are some steps that CCC will take with the Canadian business to prepare for the engagement in order to increase the chances of success. First CCC will verify if the Canadian firm’s technical, managerial and financial capacity to undertake the contract successfully.

“We do extensive scoping to understand the contractual options for the opportunity, the exporter’s technical solution and how it meets the buyer’s needs,” Rizk explains. He notes that if an exporter has a record of success as a vendor to the Canadian government or another government that can go a long way toward building credibility with the buyer.

Once it confirms that the project is within the capabilities of the Canadian business, it will then look at the project opportunity.

“We work with the Canadian business and make sure we understand the prospective buyer’s technical needs and budget, who the competition might be, and who are the decision makers and influencers for procurement decisions,” Rizk advises. After that? “Be ready to work with CCC to prove your expertise.”

Four ways to validate sales opportunities with government buyers

Risk management

The Government of Canada believes in the importance of responsible business conduct. CCC, as a Canadian crown corporation, upholds these values and invests in many risk management practices that benefit both the Canadian supplier and the foreign government buyer. These include (but not limited to):

  • Identifying human rights risks and sensitive transactions
  • Performing ethical risk assessments and due diligence reviews
  • Including provisions in contracts to address bribery and corruption
  • Monitoring contracts for ethical compliance
  • Implementing procedures and reporting to deal with violations and alleged violations.

These steps often increase the buying government’s comfort level in working with the Canadian supplier and CCC as it ensures that public funds are being invested in the project and not wasted.

Rizk says it’s important for every exporter to be clear about their risk comfort level. While all business carries risk, international deals carry risk due to distance, differing legal and governance structures, and, in some markets, political and economic instability.

“We have our own risk thresholds at CCC, but we want to make sure that we’re respecting — and representing — our exporters’ risk comfort at every stage as well,” Rizk says. “We do nothing unilaterally: every deal is a partnership, and we make sure our exporter partners are comfortable.”

What CCC’s Code for Exporters means for Canadian businesses

Strengthening the proposal

Once all the groundwork is laid, the due diligence is done and the buyer’s need is defined, CCC works with you to optimize your proposal. This stage can take some time and patience, Rizk notes.

“There can be a lot of back and forth with the buyer to get the proposal right, which is important because it’s the foundation for the contract that will be signed,” he says. “And when we get to the end of the proposal process and it’s time to negotiate the contract, the exporter is right there with us at the table.”

How to build a better bid

Writing a proposal for an international business opportunity isn't easy. We can help.

Get our guide on how to prepare and write a solicitation response so you can win more business.

How to put forward an unsolicited proposal supported by CCC

Identify the opportunity as early as possible: This may come from having contacts on the ground in a particular country who are in touch with government procurement plans, or could be simply that you’ve heard that a foreign buyer may be getting ready to start a procurement process. Learn as much as you can and vet the opportunity.

Consider suitability of G2G contracting: G2G is usually best suited to complex projects that are often time sensitive. Other factors may also incline a buyer toward G2G, such as concerns about assurances the project will be delivered, avoidance of bribery and corruption and more.

Find out if the country has an MOU with CCC: CCC has memoranda of understanding (MOUs) in place with many foreign governments and ministries already. That means the ground may already be laid for a G2G deal, providing the “policy cover” the foreign government needs to proceed with a sole-sourced G2G contract. If no MOU exists, CCC can engage the government locally to see if an MOU might move the project along.

Get CCC involved right away: The sooner CCC can connect and start discussions with the foreign buyer about their needs, the more opportunity there is to steer the opportunity toward a sole-sourced G2G contract. Our regional directors and our partners at the Trade Commissioner Service in Canadian embassies around the world have contacts with foreign government buyers to make inquiries and get discussions moving.

Contact CCC

Contracts with U.S. DoD

CCC administers the DPSA on behalf of the Government of Canada, and under the DPSA, CCC acts as the Prime Contractor on U.S. DoD contracts for purchases from Canada. For over 65 years, CCC has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to strengthen the North American defence industrial base and to meet the needs of the U.S. military.

While the DoD buys many defence-related products and services from Canada, it also buys non-traditional defence equipment and services such as pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment, travelling cranes, hoists and monorails, fabricated metals, and surgical instruments. In 2021, the DoD signed nearly $900 million in new contracts with Canadian firms.  For these reasons, it is worth for Canadian companies to learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense to see if it is potential client for them.

Get to know the U.S. Department of Defense

You don’t have to be a defence company to sell to U.S. DoD 

Identifying opportunities

The first step is finding the right opportunity to bid on. Canada’s Global Bid Opportunity Finder (GBOF) gives instant access to hundreds of thousands of opportunities on a single web platform. Canadian companies can register and use the tool for free.

Another option is to have “boots on the ground”. For example, Lockheed Martin Canada, who often works with CCC for contracts with the U.S. DoD, has a business development team in the United States which helps them identify services they can provide to DoD. When the company is ready to bid on a DoD project, they work through CCC to secure the contract.

Bid support and proposal endorsement

Once the right opportunity to bid on is found, CCC will help the Canadian business navigate the procurement process and solicitation documents. CCC will also performs several other steps to increase the chances of winning the contract including:

  • Completing an Integrity Compliance assessmenton the Canadian business.
  • Completing a Human Rights assessmenton the end-use of the Canadian product or service.
  • Completing a technical, managerial and financial due diligenceon the Canadian business to confirm its capability to perform the contract.
  • Coordinating Public Service and Procurement Canada for price certifications and/or contract audits, where required.
  • Submitting a letter of endorsementto U.S. DoD for the Canadian business’ proposal.
  • Providing a Government of Canada guaranteethat the contract will be performed in accordance with the established terms and conditions.
  • Supporting Canadian Department of National Defence acceptance testingand overseeing contract performance and financial administration.

These steps are designed to fast track the contracting process with DoD and increase the Canadian’s company chances of success.


Often Canadian businesses face challenges when working with DoD. For example, DoD contracting offices might prefer to buy from American suppliers or be unaware of Canadian capabilities. CCC will step in to bridge any challenges, validate the capabilities of the Canadian company and provide other necessary support.

“They (CCC) ask us all the right questions and get all the clarifications, and they take over the intermediary role – helping us secure the contract,” says Jim Andrews, VP and GM, Lockheed Martin Commercial Engine Solutions and CCC client.

‘CCC is an advocate for us’: Lockheed Martin Canada

Work with CCC

If you are working with a national, provincial, state or municipal government or a state-owned enterprise, talk to CCC to see if Canada’s G2G contracting approach might be right for you. If you are looking to sell to the U.S. military, talk to us to see how Canada can support your bid.

Contact us


This post was last updated on July 14, 2023.

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