Теги: cufta
Canada is shaping up to become the “Silicon Valley North” – Ukrainian IT-company MindK

12 leading Ukrainian IT companies visited Canada as a part of the ICT business mission organized by the CUTIS project. The five-day event includes a series of B2B meetings with Canadian business, seminars and panel discussions.

Oleg Nesterov, founder and CEO of Ukrainian IT company MindK, and Sergiy Kyrylyuk, head of business development and sales MindK, explained the specifics of the Canadian IT market and shared impressions from the ICT mission to Toronto

For five days we immersed ourselves in the country’s booming tech sector. After attending a number of B2B meetings, workshops, and panel discussions, we traveled deep into Canada’s industrial heartland. In Hamilton, we’ve met representatives from local authorities, research organizations, and businesses, to discuss Canada’s innovation sector.

With a decline in oil prices, the country is rapidly transitioning to an innovation-driven economy.

Canada has the highest number of AI researchers per capita and the third largest AI talent pool in the world. Supported by government initiatives, incubators and advanced R&D centres, the ICT sector produces a great number of innovative startups. Shopify, HootSuite, and Kik Messenger are just a few examples of successful tech companies born in Canada.

Low bureaucracy along with favorable economic conditions and tax policies drive massive investments into the country’s innovation sector.

Multiple US companies including IBM, Amazon, AMD, DELL, CityBank, and OpenText are moving into Canada. In 2016, Google opened a new headquarters in Kitchener, Waterloo. Two years later, Microsoft intends to build a new headquarters in downtown Toronto and invest $570+ million over the next three years.

Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is shaping up to become the “Silicon Valley North” along with other tech hubs that sprout around major cities. Since 2016, the region’s tech sector grows faster than that of New York City and San Francisco combined. In two years, Toronto is predicted to overtake Silicon Valley as the place with the highest number of tech jobs in North America.

This rapid expansion of the ICT sector and a radical business digitalization has increased the need for highly skilled tech workers.

According to a recent report by Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Canada will need to fill 216,000 new positions in the tech sector by 2021.

Even as the government welcomes talented immigrants, some experts fear that Canada will only be able to satisfy 30% of its need for tech personnel.

This shortage is made worse by the continuing brain drain to the USA. Each year, hundreds of talented graduates leave Canada to seek fame in Silicon Valley. Another problem comes from the aging workforce with only 4.4% represented by people between 15-24 years old vs 12.7% for the pre-retirement group (55-65 y.o.).

One of the ways Canadian business can deal with this shortage is by looking for skilled tech professionals in other countries, e.g. Ukraine.

Global Sourcing Association (GSA) named Ukraine the “Offshoring Destination of the Year” in 2017. With more than 38 thousand people graduating annually from Ukrainian tech universities, the country is expected to have 200,000+ ICT workers by next year.

Relatively cheap labour is often cited as the top reason for working with Ukrainian companies. After all, a software developer in Ukraine earns about $20,000-30,000 per year vs. $77,600 in Canada.

Yet, Ukraine’s biggest advantage is expertise and the sheer number of skilled tech personnel.

2018 Global Innovation Index ranks Ukraine as the world’s 27th country by knowledge and technology outputs. It also holds 8th position in SkillValue developer ranking.

Angel.co lists over 1900 Ukrainian tech startups with an average value of $2.5 million. Numerous world-famous companies like Grammarly, People.ai, CleanMyMac, GitLab, DepositPhotos, Petcube, and Looksery (acquired by Snapchat for $150 million) originate from Ukraine.

The country houses 110+ R&D offices of large tech companies including Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Samsung Electronics, Boeing, Skype, Siemens, Magento, and Ring (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion).

Despite Ukraine being relatively unknown in Canada as an outsourcing destination, projects like CUTIS can move mountains and create thousands of win-win relationships.

Footwear manufacturer KaDar: We have successfully fulfilled our first order for the Canadian market

The history of KaDar, the largest footwear manufacturer in Western Ukraine, began back in 1999. At the moment, the production capacity enables the company to produce about 500 pairs of shoes per day. KaDar is actively entering new markets including the Canadian market. Halyna Panas, KaDar Export Development Manager, tells about the company’s preparation for the international exhibition – Toronto Shoe Show and its first results.    

KaDar has been successfully operating in the Ukrainian market for over 20 years and exporting its products to EU countries for more than 5 years.

The Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine gave us an excellent opportunity to supply footwear to Canadian consumers at zero import duty rate.

Due to our cooperation with the CUTIS project, we were able to participate in the Toronto Shoe Show, as it is a good opportunity to showcase our products to key players in the Canadian market. The first exhibition was held in late August 2018, the next one – on 20-22 February this year.

When preparing for the first exhibition, we did not understand exactly what shoes should be shown to Canadian clients. After all, Ukraine and Canada have their own specific tastes, preferences, and trends. Not always trendy models of footwear in Ukraine will be in demand in Canada, and vice versa. Therefore, it was not easy for us to prepare for the August exhibition and decide on the product mix.

We are now much better aware of what Canadian consumers need. The first exhibition and meeting with potential customers, talks with importers helped us understand the needs and requirements of the Canadian market.

That is why, when preparing for the second exhibition (February 2019), we were quite savvy in terms of mix, requirements and product quality. We brought exactly the products that might be of interest to potential consumers in Canada.

We see good prospects of exporting KaDar shoes to Canada as we got positive feedback on our products. Expectations are positive, we want to find a good business partner for long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation.

We already have our first order that we successfully completed. We work on further orders, prepare a collection in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian market.

We hope for successful exports to Canada. We want Canadian consumers to appreciate the high quality of shoes by the Ukrainian manufacturer and believe in the potential successful cooperation with our company. The most important reward for us will be the customer’s appreciation and recognition of the company as a reliable business partner.

Find out more about the success of Ukrainian producers at Toronto Shoe Show by following the link

Stepan Kubiv: Ukraine and Canada’s extraordinary business relationship is just getting started

Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade for Ukraine, special for Financial Post (Canada) 

Ukraine is a trusted friend and partner for Canada. Our relationship spans more than a century of shared family, cultural and political connections. The next step in our ongoing journey together is in expanding our business relationships.

While Ukraine gained its formal independence in 1991, our country is just three years into the rebirth that resulted from the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. Since the Euromaidan, we have set out to build a new European state. We signed a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement with the European Union in 2016, and the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) last year — deals that effectively create an uninterrupted duty-free trade zone comprising almost 600 million consumers.

Starting in 2016, our economy has rebounded with 10 consecutive quarters of positive economic growth, including growth of up to 3.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2018.

Even though CUFTA took effect only in August 2017, total Canada-Ukraine goods trade in 2017 grew by 42 per cent to US$349.6 million. A further year-over-year increase of 2.7 per cent was recorded in the first seven months of 2018.

Our trade strategy is combined with an ambitious economic reform program to make Ukraine more attractive to western investment. Since 2014, we have achieved more reforms than at any time since independence. We have deregulated sectors of the economy, streamlined business regulations and undertaken privatization of state-owned enterprises. Reforms are underway to improve creditors’ rights and intellectual property rights. As of July 1, 2018, the total volume of direct foreign investment amounted to US$40.7 billion.

Ukraine is committed to fighting corruption through new legislation, government systems and institutions. The centrepiece of our commitment is the High Anti-Corruption Court, which began in June. International bodies, such as the G7 and the International Monetary Fund, have endorsed the court as a significant step in achieving our anti-corruption objectives.

The next step is expanding our business relationships

These initiatives to improve the investment climate are paying off. Canadian investment in Ukraine increased 20.9 per cent in 2017, and was up 21.6 per cent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period one year earlier. We are focusing on four sectors: agro-industry, information technology, infrastructure and natural resources. Canadian firms have expertise in each of these sectors and opportunities are opening in Ukraine for potentially lucrative investments. Our trade and investment promotion efforts are therefore concentrated in these business sectors.

Ukraine’s IT industry has transformed rapidly from a fringe economic player to to the country’s third-largest export sector in only five years. In 2017, IT services grew by 20 per cent and exports are estimated to double in the next five years. The IT sector comprised about 61 per cent of Ukraine’s services exports to Canada in 2017.

Our geographic location gives us the potential to be a trade and transportation hub for Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Our road, rail, aviation and marine infrastructure is well developed, but much of it needs renovation, upgrades and modernization, creating opportunities for Canadian investors.

Ukraine is pursuing a goal of energy independence by 2020, opening up opportunities for Canadian companies to help by investing and building infrastructure in both traditional energy segments and for renewables, such as solar, wind and bioenergy. In June, Canada and Ukraine signed a letter of intent on energy co-operation with the International Centre of Regulatory Excellence (ICORE), a not-for-profit organization founded by the Alberta Energy Regulator, to bolster transparency and regulatory excellence.

While it is still early days for new investments, the shovels already in the ground provide an indication that opportunities abound. TIU Canada is constructing a new solar power plant near the village of Kalinovka in the Mykolaiv region. Brookfield Asset Management is a backer of the Innovation District IT Park now under construction in Lviv. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is a significant investor in Astarta Holding, an agroindustrial holding company. And investment is flowing the other direction as well: Ukrainian investors broke ground in September for the Canada Meat Group Inc. meat-processing plant and cold storage facility in North Bay, Ont.

Ukraine greatly values the support that Canada provides — as a partner for peace, a provider of development assistance through the Canada-Ukraine Trade & Investment Support Project, and shared deep cultural connections. Canada has graciously offered to host the annual Ukraine Reform Conference in June 2019 , and we will welcome the opportunity to describe additional positive momentum.

Ukrainians want a democratic, reliable, and economically strong country. With Canada’s help, we will continue our efforts to deliver it for our mutual benefit.

Source: Financial Post

BUSINESS TRAVELER TIPS: HOW TO START EXPORTING TO CANADA

The free trade regime between Ukraine and Canada has been in operation for over a year and has already attracted Canadian buyers to Ukrainian goods. In turn, this heightens the interest of Ukrainian suppliers in the Canadian markets.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) conducted a two-week training program “How to Export to Canada” for representatives of the regional chambers of commerce and trainers from the leading business schools. The program included a more theoretical Ukrainian part in Kyiv and a Canadian one in Toronto and Ottawa. During the latter, program participants had an opportunity to communicate with Canadian government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations responsible for various aspects of Canadian export of goods.

Dmytro Shvets, Director of Start Global, a lecturer at Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, shared with Mind the interesting insights he had received during the course.

Country Profile. Canada is a North American country with the area of 9.9 million square kilometres (16 times larger than Ukraine) and the population of just over 36 million. It is a federation of 10 provinces and three territories, each having unique “tastes” in the issues of import, customs, taxes, legislative regulation, etc. For example, to register a company in Canada, you need a local director, but not in British Columbia.

61% of Canada’s total population lives in two provinces: Ontario and Quebec. Canadians prefer to live in cities, of which the largest is Toronto.

In a multicultural and multilingual country (there are two official languages – English and French – at the federal level), a large number of different nations retain their culture and traditions. In recent years, the flow of immigrants from Asia to Canada has increased. This makes it necessary to take into account when positioning a product and negotiating it that your client may have the habits and traditions not inherent in North America.

Indigenous people (First nations) account for almost 5% of the total population – about 1.7 million people. Interestingly, the average age of the indigenous part is 32 years old (ten years younger than the rest of the population). But in general, Canadians are an aging nation: it is expected that a quarter of the country’s population will be over 65 years old in 2031. This should also be taken into account when determining the target clientele for your products when preparing for their export.

Who do Canadians trade with? Canada imports goods and services from most countries of the globe. It is one of top ten trade leaders and accounts for 2.2% of world imports. Mostly, it imports from the USA, China, Mexico and Germany, and exports to the above countries, as well as the UK and Japan.

Canada is one of the world’s leading importers, and this is a good reason for the most responsible attitude and high requirements for everything coming from outside. Canadian importers are responsible to the State for the quality of products and will require the same from the supplying exporters.

What are the requirements for foreign goods? It is prohibited to import products to Canada that could harm human health or life. Such goods are either destroyed or sent back at the expense of the supplier. Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been created, among other things, for checking imported food products; more than 7,000 of its employees are concerned to reject the products that do not meet the standards.

Almost everything you need to know about standards and requirements for food and medicine can be found on the Ask CFIA web resource.

Another useful tool is AIRS CFIA: Here you can easily find out about the requirements for different products.

Standardization of goods and Canadian customs is a complex but well-balanced mechanism with the components working in concert and complementing each other. Almost all authorities and agencies have comprehensive information on their websites and patiently answer telephone requests.

Canadian import/export information is freely available. In particular, the CBSA website has a Step By Step Guide, which describes the process of import to the country in detail. At the same site, you can get a list of products and requirements (including goods that are not allowed to be imported).

Keep in mind that the goods to be imported can be delayed indefinitely until clarification (at the expense of the importer), so this should be taken into account in planning your time and budget. In addition, when determining the origin of goods, the cost and origin of the materials from which it is made are taken into account.

The logistics component of export to Canada should not be a problem provided careful preparation – the customs clearance of goods in the country of maple leaf is simplified and can be carried out remotely. You will be able to calculate the shipping rates at the website searates.com.

How to sell? With regard to Canadian sales channels, it is worth considering a few issues. One of the most interesting channels can be Public Services and Procurement Canada, which annually makes purchases for $18 billion Canadian dollars including a large number of imported items. At the web-portal buyassell.gc.ca, you can get registered for participation in the public tenter, and if you have questions, you may call +18008111148 and, as we are assured, get a detailed answer to the relevant questions. Civil servants feel morally obliged to respond the questions of interested exporters. It would be wise to use this.

In Canada, industry associations that advise trade missions are also very professional and help their members in international affairs. Contacts of those associations can be found on the Canadian Chamber of Commerce website.

Another interesting organization that deals with the development of trade relations with countries such as Ukraine is TFO Canada. You can find many tips on exports to Canada and register your company in the directory at its web page in order to promote your product among buyers.

Canada has one of the largest Ukrainian diasporas in the world – 1.3 million people. Although it is unlikely that it can be used as a sales channel, a significant number of Ukrainian-born specialists can be found in almost every sector of the country. These acquaintances would be good to use to get alternative contacts for industry and market information.

An additional channel for promotion in Canada can be annual festivals of Ukrainian culture.

Legal features of export to Canada. Special attention should be paid to legal aspects. For example, there is a case-law applied in many cases that takes into account the large number of cases for the century. At the same time, lawyers are highly specialized – both in the branches of law and geographically (in specific provinces).

Another very important issue is the protection of intellectual property. Canada has a large number of lawyers specializing in lawsuits against brands that violate someone’s intellectual property rights. Therefore, it is worth thoroughly checking the names of your brands before going to the country’s markets.

In general, Canadians are quite conservative. All serious statements should be made with reference to a reliable source. However, this also has a significant positive effect: they are all inclined to comply strictly with established rules and arrangements. There is a culture of follow-ups and taking notes of the meeting.

How can Canada perceive all Ukrainian? Unlike southern neighbours, almost everyone in Canada knows about Ukraine. The image of the country is improving, although not very fast. Ukrainian goods are sold mainly in supermarket chains specializing in Eastern European products.

The Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Canada (CUFTA), which is in force since August 1, 2017, has opened up 98% of its goods market to Ukrainian exporters. In general, CUFTA is expected to support Ukrainian companies in entering new markets and strengthen trade relations between the two countries.

Thus, despite all the regulations, rules and standards, with proper preparation Canadian market may be of interest to Ukrainian companies that build a long-term strategy of international expansion. After all, as you have set your product or service in Canada and adapted the brand to local ethnic groups, markets in many countries, including the neighbouring US, will become easier for further advancement.

Information contained in this publication will partly be included into Global Market Access Strategy course, which will be held at kmbs on November 26, 2018.