With the financial support provided by the Government of Canada the Сonference Board of Canada, a research organization, launches a project to identify the Ukrainian companies with potential capacity to export goods to Canada. Paul Darby, CBC, told Delo.UA whom they intend to find and what they are going to do for that.
There are a lot of reasons why we have started this project. There are a lot of Ukrainians in Canada: Ukrainian diaspora is 1.3 million people. Certainly, they are interested in working with Ukraine. Besides, currently Ukraine-Russia relations are tense. Ukraine seeks new markets for its exports, and we are ready to help, because Canada is one of such potential markets. In my view, at present the project is even more timely than if we had launched it 3-4 years ago.
We have signed an agreement with the Ukrainian Chamber of Trade and Commerce and the Government of Canada on the launch of the project aimed at increasing Ukrainian exports to Canada as well as increasing investments from Canada to Ukraine. The project is scheduled for five years. We are at the very initial phase now, and so far we conduct meetings with various organizations and are taking a closer look at local producing companies.
As soon as we finish our survey, we shall be informed which products we are going to focus on; then we shall start choosing specific producing companies. We must understand where exactly the goods are produced. Therefore, we are going to work with the companies based in regions and involve local organizations and chambers of commerce to conduct trainings.
But, I am certain that we are willing to find the companies whose products include specific added value. You see, surely enough, one can sell honey somewhere abroad at a ridiculously low price. Instead, one can sell beauty care products made with honey, and one is supposed to make much more money on selling these products than just honey.
Our key partner is the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. But we also work with private sector organizations, e.g. regional chambers of commerce. In future we plan to cooperate in some areas through partnerships with training organizations and universities that would contribute to transferring the knowledge to small and medium businesses’ owners.
Our target audience is the small businesses with prospects for exports to Canada.
Additionally, we are going to provide technical assistance. First, it is about packaging, marketing staff to sell the goods for Canadians, providing advice on Canadians’ quality requirements. Besides, it is about conducting trainings to train the individuals who will be helping local exporters to enter the external markets.
We plan to spend around 1 year to study the Ukrainian market in order to understand which products will sell well in Canada and which companies are fit to do exports. Our mission is just the first step. Then through analysis of the collected data we need to specify how the project shall be developing in future. It will take around two months. After that, by around June, the project will start to work in its entirety: the key activities will commence and financial support will be provided.
It is the Government of Canada that finances the project, but the private sector is supposed to share some expenditures. Within the frame of the project we plan to bring the companies to Canada to attend various events, trade shows, organize b2b events. The companies will have to cover some of the expenses to travel there. We do not know yet which share of the expenses must be covered by the companies: maybe it will be 50/50, or maybe they will cover 1/3 or 2/3 of the costs. It will depend on the sector where the company works, the type of business and products we shall choose as well as their prospective chances for success. However, the companies will have to cover at least 1/3 of the costs, anyway. The project’s total budget is 13 million CAD.
One of the objectives we are addressing within this mission is to meet other donor organizations. We have already had a meeting with the EBRD and we are considering the opportunities to cooperate with them to this or that extent. We already spoke with them about this, but we have not reached any specific decisions yet. However, there are areas where our cooperation with EBRD might appear efficient.
EBRD works on use of EU funding to support private sector, but they do not always focus specifically on exports, they concentrate on support for local producers’ development. We are interested in cooperating with them as partners who are able to help with developing local manufacturers and prepare them for exports activities.
More information on participating in the project is available through sending an e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org – to Ihor Sanzharovsky, the project director in Ukraine.
If you want to provide information about you for the project, you should include the following data while sending an e-mail to this address: the name of your company; the name of an owner/chief executive officer; contact info; what your company’s products are, your production volumes; whether you have an experience in exporting your products and why will your product be a success at the market of Canada.