News Tag: зона вільної торгівлі з Канадою
How to prepare for a virtual trading mission – video

The COVID-19 epidemic is making adjustments to export activities. Traditional personal communication during industry events or trade missions is replaced with virtual video conferencing, messengers and online platforms. This is where significant benefits for Ukrainian producers appear.

Why won’t the virtual format of meetings disappear after the end of the epidemic? The reason is obvious: it is beneficial to meet online given the saving of time and money.

A properly prepared and successfully conducted virtual meeting is a guarantee of mutually beneficial business relations in the future. Everything is like in a theatre here: you have to dedicate a lot of time, sweat and blood in preparation, training and coaching to enjoy a moment of glory on stage in the spotlight.

Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator, who has huge experience in organizing virtual negotiations with Canadian business, explains how to properly prepare for participation in a virtual trade mission and what kind of challenges you may face (in Ukrainian).

Practical recommendation to establish successful business relationships with Canadian buyers – webinar

The CUTIS project in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and the Canada Export Promotion Office (TFO Canada) held a webinar with the participation of Maria Guzman, TFO Canada apparel market expert and CUTIS projects consultant.

The main objective is to provide comprehensive and practical guidance on the requirements for the sale of clothing in Canada and to facilitate the process of finding partners in this market for Ukrainian companies.

The following questions were discussed during the webinar:

  • Features of the Canadian clothing market
  • Recent fashion trends in the market
  • How to interact with potential buyers
  • How to successfully build a business relationship
  • How to present your product successfully
  • How to calculate export prices and negotiate with Bayer
  • How to calculate the cost of logistics
  • Basic requirements for product labelling

Part 1 video 

Part 2 video 

You can download Maria’s presentation via the link.

You can download the webinar Summary via the link.

Target commodities and services for export promotion to Canada within the Export Strategy of Ukraine

The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) and the National Institute for Strategic Studies presented a report “Target commodities and services for export promotion to Canada within the Export Strategy of Ukraine” on March 5.

The research was conducted by the experts of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, the SE “Ukrainian Industry Expertise”, Export Promotion Office (EPO), and supported by the CUTIS project.

The study was divided into two parts. The first one is focused on the selection of most promising commodities and services of Ukrainian exports to Canada within the framework of Ukraine’s Export Strategy.

356 commodities (food and machinery industries) were analyzed, resulting in the selection of 18 target groups.

Besides, the following target services for export promotion from Ukraine to Canada were analyzed: ICT (Computer services) and Creative industries (R&D, Professional and management consulting services, Technical, trade-related, and other business services, Audiovisual and related services, Other personal, cultural, and recreational services).

In the second part, comparative analysis and rating of target commodities and services were carried out.

As a result of the study, the following priorities for export promotion were selected:

Food Industry:

  • Fruits and nuts, frozen;
  • Tomatoes prepared or preserved;
  • Sugar Confectionery;
  • Vegetables, fruit, nuts, prepared or preserved;
  • Chocolate.

Machinery:

  • Articles of Carbon or Graphite Used For Electrical Purposes;
  • Non-Electric Radiators, Air Heaters;
  • Electric Domestic Heating Apparatus;
  • Household or laundry-type washing machines.

Services:

  • Computer services;
  • Technical, trade-related, and other business services;
  • Professional and management consulting services.

As Sergii Kovalov, Deputy Director of the Department of Export Development, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine mentioned, the next steps are development and approval of the Strategic Plan of export promotion to Canada. The ministry also plans to apply this methodology to select export promotion priorities and develop strategic plans for other markets in focus.

EPO is ready to use research results for preparing trade missions to Canada and provide consultations to Ukrainian businesses interested in exporting to Canada.

How to export furniture to Canada: market trends and consumer preferences

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS), the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (CUCC), as a part of the partnership with the Ukrainian Furniture Association participated in the Smart Export 3.0 conference.

The event brought together about 70 furniture industry representatives who are interested in export development.

Ihor Sanzharovskyi, Director of the CUTIS project in Ukraine, briefly explained how the project supports Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in developing export to the Canadian market and focused on the information materials prepared by the project. He also presented a new guide “How to export furniture to Canada”.

You can download the furniture export guide here (in Ukrainian).

Maxim Boroda, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Analysis Expert, told about specifics, trends, and consumer preferences in the Canadian furniture market. It’s an interesting fact that the total volume of furniture sales in the Canadian market in 2018 amounted to CAD 38.3 billion, in particular, home furniture (CAD 31.3 billion), home textiles (CAD 1.4 billion) and outdoor furniture (CAD 1.1 billion). It is expected that by 2023 the total volume of furniture sales will reach CAD 46.6 billion. Download the presentation (in Ukrainian).

Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Senior Expert on Investment and Trade Policy, clarified regulatory requirements and voluntary certification for Ukrainian furniture in Canada. Download the presentation (in Ukrainian).

Please note that under the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), Ukrainian products are not subject to import duties. For example, for Chinese furniture, the duty rates are 8-10%.

Vira Porovska, CUTIS Gender Equality Expert, illustrated why gender-sensitive marketing is an essential requirement of Canadian consumers. Download the presentation (in Ukrainian).

Olga Shtepa, CUTIS Project Coordinator, drew the attention of the event participants to the specifics of the Canadian business culture. In particular, Olga Shtepa named 5 essential components for successful exports to Canada:

  • Website in English (native English)
  • Detailed costs and prices information
  • Farewell to stereotypes
  • Getting rid of misconceptions about your product or service
  • Professional presentation of own products

Download the presentation (in Ukrainian).

Thanks to the support of the CUTIS project 10 Ukrainian furniture companies participated at Canadian Furniture Show 2018: Cube44 (living room and office furniture), ADK (living room and bedroom furniture), Aqua Rodos (bathroom furniture), Merx (kitchen, living room and bedroom furniture), Instyle (kitchen furniture), Stalkon (outdoor furniture), Blest (living room and bedroom furniture), Snite (children’s furniture), Kulik System (office furniture) and Renaissance (children’s furniture) companies was exhibited.

You can read the Blest company success story in the Canadian market here.

The success story of Cube44 furniture company can be found here.

What impressions did Ukrainian manufacturers make on Canadian buyers and what are the prospects of Ukrainian products in the Canadian market?

The CUTIS project has organized a visit to Ukraine for Canadian distributors interested in finding reliable food and beverage suppliers for the Canadian market.

During the 10 days of the trade mission that Canadian business representatives spent in Ukraine, they visited Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Zaporozhzhia and met with representatives of more than 40 companies.

Yuriy Baranov, founder of CAALCO distributors corp., distributor of Yummy Market (Canada)

My company has been involved in the import of alcoholic beverages for the Canadian market for over 20 years, and at the moment I am considering expanding the import line with foodstuffs. I have a good track record of working with such leading Ukrainian alcohol companies as Bayadera group (TM “Hlibny Dar”), continue to negotiate with Alef Vinal (vodka Green Day, brandy Jean-Jack).

During the mission, I also established business relationships with such well-known companies as Petrus, Staritsky&Levitsky. A real discovery for me was the company “Ukrainian Medovary” from Drohobych, which restored almost lost recipes of Ukrainian natural beverages based on honey. A nice addition to the CUTIS program was a meeting with the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce management.

I personally visited 12 companies and had about 20 meetings with representatives of Ukrainian business. Most of them amazed me with the high production culture, quality of products, flavour profiles, professionalism of their teams. It feels like these companies have a clear export strategy, a creative team and are result-oriented.

I would like to emphasize the companies such as Beehive, Malby (TM Millenium), Klion group (TM Veladis), Lviv handmade factory, Bob snail, Bayadera, Bester. These companies have every reason to be optimistic about the future of Ukrainian exports to the global markets.

I am often asked what the main prerequisite for the success of a product in the Canadian market is. The answer is simple and complex at the same time: the product should be interesting to Canadian distributors and buyers.

If a Ukrainian company plans to target only the ethnic market and the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada this kind of expansion is 99% doomed. Indeed, the Ukrainian diaspora has more than 1.6 million people but the vast majority of them have no idea what modern Ukraine is and what kind of products it produces because their ancestors came to Canada before the 1917 revolution. True, they are loyal to everything Ukrainian, but they have grown up in Canada and usually consume local Canadian products they are used to.

I think it is optimal for a Ukrainian company to initially test their product in the ethnic market, to understand how interesting it is to Canadian consumers. Only if the product is in demand should they try to approach Canadian grocery chains and address such issues as customizing the name or developing the label to meet Canadian requirements (labels in Canada must contain information in 2 official languages – English and French). It’s worth starting with European-oriented networks such as Yummy Market or Starsky.

Michael Prudkov, Vice President of Crussimpex, a Canadian distributor company   

Crussimpex is a food importer that cooperates mainly with small manufacturers and distributes throughout Canada.

Crussimpex already has experience working with Ukrainian companies, and we want to expand the mix of Ukrainian products in the Canadian market.

During the mission, I met with representatives of about 20 Ukrainian companies. The overall impression is positive. There are many decent manufacturers on the market.

In today’s world, however, having a good product is not enough. You need to be ready to invest in entering foreign markets.

I got the impression that not all Ukrainian companies understand how to promote and sell their goods abroad. Exports require extra costs: into skilled personnel, interesting packaging, promotion, marketing, etc. No way without that. In addition, the entry process takes more than one day – it is unlikely to send a huge batch for the first time. One needs to move step by step and heed the importer’s advice.

You also need to understand the specifics of each region. Canadian consumers, unlike American consumers, are very conservative. It is difficult to get them to buy a product they are not used to. Although geographically Canada is a huge country, the size of the market is small, and it is by no means comparable to the US.

I would also advise Ukrainian manufacturers to take a more prudent approach to the issue of pricing. On average, the wholesale price in the Canadian market is three times higher than the wholesale price in Ukraine. Talking about the retail price, the difference is 4-5 times. This includes logistics, distribution costs, retail margins, exchange rate risks, and more.

Not all Ukrainian manufacturers understand this math. They hear the word Canada and immediately inflate the selling price. Canadian consumers are quite sensitive to the price. With overstated prices, Ukrainian goods simply will not find a buyer in Canada.

What Ukrainian foodstuffs have the best chance on the Canadian market? These are definitely not meat or dairy products because they are subject to import quotas and the certification process is quite complicated.

Confectionery products have very good chances and the leaders of the Ukrainian market (AVK, Roshen, Biscuit-Chocolate) are already presented in the market. I think other Ukrainian companies can become a name and compete with Belarusian, Moldovan or Russian manufacturers.

Grocery manufacturers have a good chance: I want to try putting Ukrainian fishery products on the Canadian market.

In general, the chances of Ukrainian companies in the Canadian market are not bad. I think that the representation of Ukrainian goods will only grow. Specifically, if there is support from such programs as CUTIS and from the State.

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine

When entering a new market, not only Canadian, a Ukrainian manufacturer should listen to local importers who understand specifics of their own market much better. Sometimes they ask about five steps to success. The answer is simple – 5 Ps (product, price, promotion, place and people) that you read about in any guidebook. I would add another “P” – practice. Practice export activities on a daily basis, and everything will get clear. Understanding the process of entering a market and the sense of time and partner are very important qualities of an entrepreneur.

In most cases, it will be difficult to sell the product as it is marketed in Ukraine. In the food industry, you need to consider everything – product appearance, taste, preservation of tastiness and appearance over a long period of time (only transportation to Canada takes almost two months), packaging, labeling, product and brand name. The product name must be clear to the buyer, it must be international. The exception is ethnic markets. In this case, the name should meet expectations as much as possible. Simply speaking, if the label indicates that these are “Artek” waffles, then they should comply as much as possible with traditional taste and appearance. Buyers buy such products in order to experience the “taste of childhood”. By the way, Ukraine clearly under performs in this area. For example, there are so-called “Kyiv” cakes on the Canadian market. However, they are made in Moldova. There is also a general rule: if a brand is stronger than a product, the brand must be promoted. If the product is stronger than the brand, then the product is promoted. One may also operate here under private label. Ukraine has very few globally known brands, so one should be flexible about the product name and brand. We have cases where both the product and the name were changed to more universal ones.

Pricing is another sensitive issue. Ukrainian manufacturers must clearly understand their competitors in each market segment. In the ethnic market, for example, (gingerbread, cakes, bagels, candies, etc.) we compete in price and quality with Moldova and Belarus.

Two heads are better than one and if a company has a clear strategy and resources I would not recommend saving on expert services. Without knowing the market requirements and the preferences of consumers in other countries, mistakes can be made that they will cost a lot. Trying to re-enter a new market afterwards is very difficult, since the Canadian market, for example, is not that big, and the reputation will be difficult to restore.

We live in a global world of change where you have to constantly fight for your place but do that diplomatically and with a polite smile. I am deeply convinced that Ukraine still needs to take a worthy place in the global trade not only with resources but also with high value-added products.

Ukrainian clothing manufacturers have every reason to succeed in Canada – fashion industry expert

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, under the CUTIS apparel trade mission, organized a visit to Ukraine by a representative of the Canadian fashion industry who is interested in finding reliable clothing manufacturers.

Sonali Nayak, Fashion Priests president, met with representatives of five Ukrainian companies participating in U CAN Export CUTIS support program for small and medium enterprises. They are:

Fashion Priests is a relatively new company with ambitious plans. It operates in several markets (including Canada, the USA, and India), and is constantly expanding purchasing geography.

Thanks to the Conference Board of Canada and TFO Canada, Sonali Nayak also visited Indonesia with a buyers’ trade mission. ‘Ukrainian companies are more ready to enter the Canadian market, the samples and models presented by Ukrainian manufacturers may be interesting for Canadian buyers,’ she said.

‘During the mission, I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of five Ukrainian companies (from the sports swimwear and leggings producer to the outwear factory) who made a positive impression on me.

Interesting models, modern equipment, high technology, good quality fabrics, creative teams are the components of Ukrainian clothing producers’ potential success in foreign markets,’ Sonali Nayak mentioned.

‘I definitely see the prospects for further cooperation. We have to harmonize, for example, size guides, because in Ukraine and Canada they are different, to choose the optimal styles and fabrics. I hope that the Fashion Priests specialists will visit the selected Ukrainian enterprises once again in the spring and will discuss all the details as well as made trial orders’, Fashion Priests president explained. 

Thanks to the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, Ukrainian clothing is imported to Canada without paying import duties (18% on average). This is an additional plus for business partnership with Ukrainian manufacturers.

Maria Guzman, CUTIS Canadian expert and TFO Canada consultant, advises Ukrainian manufacturers to pay additional attention to details such as size matching, curves, seam size, etc. Ignoring such things can lead to Canadian buyers refusing to make an order, even if they generally like the style and clothing model, Maria Guzman concluded.

Canadian ICT business successfully develops cooperation with Ukrainian partners at Lviv ІТ Arena

This year, Canada was first represented with its national booth at the Lviv IT Arena, the biggest Ukrainian IT conference, which was held on September 27-29 in Lviv, Western Ukraine.

With the support of the Government of Canada, a range of events under the Canada National IT Program has been conducted. It’s a bright illustration of the great attention paid to developing cooperation between the Ukrainian and Canadian ICT sectors.

With the assistance of the Embassy of Canada, six leading Canadian ICT companies have visited Lviv IT Arena for the first time (Tektelic, Free Balance, GTA, IT Solution Invest, IT Action Group, and Web4you). 

On September 28, Trade Commission Service, Embassy of Canada to Ukraine in collaboration with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and the CUTIS project, organized the Canadian Business Breakfast which included B2B meetings between Canadian and Ukrainian companies. Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, opened the breakfast.

During the event, the Ukrainian N-iX company made the presentation of Ukrainian ICT sector achievements (Ukrainian IT Market in 2019 and beyond). 

About 20 Ukrainian companies attended b2b meetings with potential Canadian partners, including as leading companies like EPAM, SoftServe, as small and medium-sized businesses participating in CUTIS export support U CAN Export program (Inoxoft, Perfectial, LaSoft, Taurus Quadra).

On September 29, Canada Meet-Up meeting was held with the participation of the Honorary Consul of Canada Oksana Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych and the Canadian ICT business. About 40 Ukrainian ICT companies visited the event.

Summarizing, it is worth mentioning that the interest of Canadian ICT business in cooperation with Ukraine is ample proof of the high level of services that Ukrainian companies can and already provide to international partners in IT and communications sphere.

CUTIS represented Ukrainian apparel manufacturers at Canada’s leading clothing and textiles exhibition

From August 19 to 21, the products of nine Ukrainian apparel manufacturers were presented at the Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada, the biggest international sourcing event focused on the Canadian and North American Apparel, Textile, and Fashion sectors.

In Toronto, CUTIS experts and the Canadian TFO expert invited by the project will present Ukrainian companies’ samples that are part of the export support program U CAN Export:

Ukrainian apparel products were presented at ATSC for the second time. Last year, five Ukrainian brands participated in the ATSC fashion show.

Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada is the great option to meet thousands of apparel & fabric buyers, sourcing directors, designers, merchandisers, retail chains, department stores, and more from Canada, the USA, and the world.

In total, more than 500 manufacturers from more than 30 countries participated in the exhibition in Toronto.

After Toronto, the exhibition will take place in September in Europe and then in Miami, the USA.

ATSC features three days of sourcing, free seminars, and panels, fashion shows, networking, and inspiration.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to increase exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine. The project funded by the Canadian Government through the Global Affairs Canada and implemented by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.

Apparel is one of the priority areas for the project. CUTIS implements U CAN EXPORT Support Program in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.

Ukrainian clothing aroused great interest among Canadian buyers and retailers – CUTIS Apparel Mission

From 1 to 7 August, seven Ukrainian clothing manufacturers, selected by experts from TFO Canada, visited Canada in the framework of the Apparel Mission, organized by the CUTIS project. Canadian experts gave preference to women-owned companies and companies implemented environmental standards. The mission was held in two Canadian cities – Toronto and Montreal.

During the mission, Ukrainian apparel companies had several business meetings with leading European clothing suppliers on the Canadian market. Business negotiations with Canadian retailers were also arranged. Besides, Ukrainian business had a chance to meet with Canadian apparel brands representatives.

The following companies participated:

Ukrainian products have sparked keen interest from Canadian buyers and retailers. The Canadian business highly commended the quality, interesting portfolios, and attractive prices of Ukrainian clothing.

According to Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator, thanks to the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) and the abolition of import duties, Ukrainian clothing has 18% advantage on the Canadian market compared to imports from such powerful global players as, for instance, China. Therefore, Ukrainian clothing can and should be presented and successfully sold on the Canadian market.

‘The interest of the Canadian companies in the Ukrainian apparel is very high, several participants of the mission received trial orders. Now everything depends on the Ukrainian manufacturers, their ability to use the opportunity to develop cooperation with Canadians and expand exports to the extremely promising Canadian market,’ Olga Shtepa said.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to increase exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine. The project funded by the Canadian Government through the Global Affairs Canada and implemented by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.

Apparel is one of the priority areas for the project. CUTIS implements U CAN EXPORT Support Program in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.

In August 2018, with the assistance of the project, eight Ukrainian apparel manufacturers took part in the international exhibition Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada, which united more than 500 apparel manufacturers from more than 20 countries.

In July 2019, Ukraine House Toronto official opening guests enjoyed the Fashion Show of six famous Ukrainian apparel companies. RITO and Andre Tan companies, which participate in CUTIS export support program U CAN Export, also took part in the show and presented their latest collections.

Ukrainian clothing manufacturers to meet with Canadian buyers and retailers

From 1 to 7 August, Ukrainian clothing manufacturers, selected by experts from TFO Canada, will visit Canada in the framework of the Apparel Mission, organized by the CUTIS project. Canadian experts gave preference to women-owned companies and companies implemented environmental standards. The mission will be held in two Canadian cities – Toronto and Montreal.

During the mission, Ukrainian apparel companies will have a number of business meetings with leading European clothing suppliers on the Canadian market. Business negotiations with Canadian retailers are also arranged. Besides, Ukrainian business will be a chance to meet with representatives of Canadian apparel brands.

“Being a representative of Ukrainian clothing manufacturers in Canada is an extremely complicated and demanding challenge. It’s not just about finding a reliable partner and concluding a commercial deal, but also about helping to create the image of a Ukrainian supplier on the Canadian market as a reliable partner for producing high-quality European products. This will undoubtedly help to promote Ukrainian goods to Canadian buyers and retailers “, – said Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to increase exports from Ukraine to Canada and investment from Canada to Ukraine. The project funded by the Canadian Government through the Global Affairs Canada and implemented by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce.

Apparel is one of the priority areas for the project. CUTIS implements U CAN EXPORT Support Program in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.

In August 2018, with the assistance of the project, eight Ukrainian apparel manufacturers took part in the international exhibition Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada, which united more than 500 apparel manufacturers from more than 20 countries.

In July 2019, Ukraine House Toronto official opening guests enjoyed the Fashion Show of six famous Ukrainian apparel companies. RITO and Andre Tan companies, which participate in CUTIS export support program U CAN Export, also took part in the show and presented their latest collections.