News Tag: міжнародна торгівля
How to Increase Business Competitiveness with Socially Responsible Practices

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce hold a virtual round table for small and medium-sized businesses.

Michael Hopkins, Co-Founder and Fellow of Institute for Responsible Leadership (London), explained:

  • What is a socially responsible business (CSR)? How can SMEs implement CSR practices?
  • What is personal social responsibility?
  • Does treating your company’s key stakeholders responsibly make your business more competitive?
  • How to select your company’s key stakeholders and how to interact with them?

You can download Michael’s presentation via a link (in English).

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Ukrainian office of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, provided practical tips (for Ukrainian SMEs) to adopt socially responsible business in operational and labour practices.

Moreover, Ukrainian businesswomen who have already successfully implemented CSR practices shared their success stories.

Yevheniya Lukash, the owner of Evgakids, children’s clothing company, shared her experience on how the positive interaction/collaboration with a competitor (i.e., external stakeholder) has strengthened her business.

Ruslana Ryamarska, the owner of the family-run bakery Budmo Zdorovi (Smakuli cookies) shared her company’s experience, including challenges, in implementing socially responsible employee practices (i.e., internal stakeholders).

Top-5 interesting facts about international trade between Canada and Ukraine

The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement came into force on August 1, 2017. Starting from August 2017, Ukraine eliminated import duties on more than 70% of imports from Canada.

For other agricultural and industrial products, Ukraine will gradually open its market over transitional periods of 3, 5 or 7 years. Canada immediately eliminated tariffs on 98% of Ukrainian goods.

What are the main results for businesses in targeted sectors after three years of free trade between Canada and Ukraine?

  1. Canada’s exports to Ukraine with the largest increases include fish and seafood, machinery and mechanical appliances, motor vehicles and parts, meat, and electronics. For example, in June 2020, Ukraine was the fourth‑largest destination by volume for Canadian fish and seafood exports.
  2.  In 2019, Canada supplied 70% of Ukraine’s total imports of frozen crustaceans, cold‑water shrimps and prawns.
  3. In 2019, Ukraine also imported from Canada almost half of the prepared cranberries (46% of total imports) and 20% of diamonds.
  4. Canada’s imports from Ukraine that have expanded the most include iron and steel, electronics, and preparations of vegetables.
  5. Ukraine supplied 26% of Canada’s total imports of apple juice and 6% of snow‑skis in 2019.

According to Canadian experts, Canadian businesses that produce vehicles, engines, turbines, airplanes and turbo‑jets, petroleum gases, ethylene polymers, rubber, wood pulp, and meat have the strong economical potential in Ukraine.

At the same time, Canada offers more competitive prices for Ukrainian companies producing air conditioners, unwrought silver, cobalt, uncoated paper and paperboard, narrow woven fabrics, machinery and parts, fork‑lifts and other work trucks.

You can find more information via the link.

Covid effect as a window of opportunity for Ukrainian exporters in Canada

The Сovid effect turned out to be equally unexpected and devastating for all countries of the world without exception, including Canada and Ukraine. It is known, however, that every stick has two ends, that is, thanks to the dangerous virus, all countries and manufacturers are on equal terms and have the same restrictions.

Life does not stop and the need for good-quality goods, clothes, shoes, food, furniture, etc. cannot be cancelled. The demand, of course, changes, transforms, sometimes decreases, sometimes, on the contrary, increases.

Preference is given to the products that are produced locally, or elsewhere, better not in China (but at Chinese prices!). This is a consequence of the aggravation of economic relations with China recently, on the one hand, and the desire to try something new, on the other hand.

According to many experts, consumers are even willing to pay more for local products.

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.

First, Ukrainian goods are trusted in the local Canadian market due to the large diaspora.

Second, what is produced in Ukraine is a kind of synonym for what is produced in Europe. Hence the respect and understanding that production is based on international and European social and environmental standards – without the use of child labor or uncertified raw materials. The focus of Ukrainian manufacturers on European trends and the latest fashion innovations also remains important.

All this taken together opens a wider window of opportunity for Ukrainian exporters to Canada, which is worth taking advantage of. Canadian buyers are interested in finding reliable business partners in Ukraine.

That is why a properly prepared and successfully conducted virtual meeting is a guarantee of mutually beneficial business relations in the future. Everything is like in a theater 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.

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.

Although the virtual format will in no way replace live communication, we advise you to learn this know-how and use it more actively in your business communications.

Author: Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator 

CUTIS buttresses the development of Ukrainian exports and trade in services

Trade in services is a dynamic area where new and non-conventional negotiating instruments and techniques emerge (e.g., ‘negative’ and ‘hybrid’ listing approaches, ‘standstill’ and ‘ratchet’ clauses, etc.). Therefore, it is vitally crucial for Ukrainian services negotiators to strengthen their negotiating capacities and skills with the new/emerging negotiating instruments and techniques.

On May 22, the CUTIS project held a webinar for government officials on negative listing scheduling techniques in trade in services.

The event is intended to refresh participants’ memory of how services are traded and delve into the peculiarities of the ‘negative listing’ technique, which is new for Ukraine.

The webinar was addressed by Pietro Poretti, an independent trade consultant, a member of the Secretariat of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and a participant in the negotiation process of free trade agreements in the past.

Pietro provided the participants with the knowledge and techniques to schedule commitments for service sectors or sub-sectors under the so-called ‘negative listing approach’. He drew the difference between ‘positive’ list (traditional under the GATS), ‘negative’ list (e.g., CETA), and ‘hybrid’ approach (e.g., TiSA).

The CUTIS project expects that new knowledge prepare Ukrainian officials for the negotiations on services as well as to buttress the capacity of Ukraine’s representatives in current FTAs negotiations with other countries.

Ukrainian companies may attend the largest Canadian apparel virtual tradeshow for free

On May 25-29, the Apparel Textile Sourcing (ATS) exhibition, one of the largest international apparel and textile sourcing events, is holding the world’s first VIRTUAL tradeshow.

ATS-Virtual will connect apparel & textile manufacturers and buyers, all currently restricted from international travel. Over 2M international buyers & brands invited to attend.

Ukrainian companies may attend the tradeshow FOR FREE.

The attendances will get:

  • Free sourcing, education, matchmaking & more.
  • Interactive seminars from apparel & sourcing industry experts.
  • Five show days & 24/7 access for a month after the event.
  • Exhibits from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia & the Middle East.
  • Live chats, virtual networking, engagement made simple.

The manufactures may have their own booths at the ATS-Virtual. The costs are 1/3 the price of traditional trade show booths.

To get more information and register, please follow the link.

Apparel Textile Sourcing trade shows are a global industry destination that provides a unique platform for manufacturers, distributors, apparel & fabric buyers, merchandisers, retail chains to find new business contacts, share experiences, learn new ideas and create business opportunities.

Ukrainian apparel products were presented at ATSC three times and caught the interest of Indian, Chinese and Pakistani companies, which considered the possibility of locating production capacity in Ukraine.

Rules of origin for apparel and footwear under the CUFTA – video

In order to obtain preferential access to the Canadian market under the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), the product must be of Ukrainian origin.

The rules of origin impact on:

  • Import duty rates
  • Tariff quotas
  • Export trade statistics

It is essential to know that a declaration of origin of the goods is the only document Ukrainian producer needs to confirm the origin.

What does this mean for Ukrainian business?

Ukrainian companies don’t have to receive any additional certificates. The origin information shall be indicated on an invoice or any other document containing the description of the goods. Therefore, it means reducing financial and time costs for customs clearance of export products.

You can find out more about rules of origin for Ukrainian apparel and footwear goods under the CUFTA from Olexandra Brovko, CUTIS Senior Expert on Trade and Investment.

To free download the manual – I CAN Export: Rules of origin under the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement. Guidelines for Exporters (in Ukrainian), please follow the link.

Ukrainian women entrepreneurs in Paris – a new chapter of the SHEforSHE mentorship program

With the support of the CUTIS project, three Ukrainian women entrepreneurs Olesya Timoshyk (TimiTex), Eugenia Lukash (Evgakids) and Kateryna Volkova (Sasha) participated in the largest French textile and apparel exhibition, which took place in Paris from February 10 to 13. That was part of the CUTIS SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to support the development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets.

One other Ukrainian company, Jenadin, a knitwear manufacturer, participated in the exhibition catwalk.

The mentor of the SHEforSHE program is Maria Terekhova from Trade House New Fashion Zone, who already has successful experience in promoting Ukrainian apparel in foreign markets.

“For us, as a company that is just planning to enter international markets, participating in such exhibitions is a necessary and very important step. It is an opportunity, at the least, to feel the needs of the market and the requirements for manufacturers, and, at the most, to find new customers”, Olesya Tymoshyk from Chernihiv said.

For Eugenia Lukash (Kherson), founder of Evgakids online children’s clothing store, a trip to Paris also became the first experience of participating in an international apparel exhibition.

‘We are very grateful to the CUTIS project for this opportunity. The Apparel Sourcing Paris is so impressive. We are proud that our first international exhibition is the biggest garment sourcing show in Europe with more than 600 exhibitors from all over the world,’ Eugenia Lukash noted.

According to Kateryna Volkova from Slavutych, who produces children dresses under Sasha trademark, participation in the Apparel Sourcing Paris was a great opportunity to expand to new markets, establish contacts with new partners and present new products.

Jenadin’s participation in the catwalk has become a real highlight of the event. The Ukrainian knitwear producer was highly appreciated by the Parisian public. This success is significant for the producer given the fact that it was the first time for Jenadin to demonstrate its models at such a top international fashion show.

‘I’m very happy that we could present our collection, and also represent Ukrainian manufacturers at the Apparel Sourcing Paris. I want to thank the CUTIS project for giving us this opportunity and unbelievable experience,’ Jenadin CEO Nadiia Koziarivska said.

Maria Terekhova gave a presentation at the Apparel Sourcing Paris regarding benefits that international partners may have working with Ukrainian apparel companies. Maria made a brief overview of the Ukrainian apparel market and spoke about the specifics of searching a business partner in Ukraine.

“Events such as the Apparel Sourcing Paris exhibition are a great opportunity to present Ukraine as an interesting partner for private label production and fruitful cooperation with international retailers. During the event, we got acquainted with African and Latin American buyers. It’s a whole new negotiation experience for us”, Maria mentioned.

According to Olga Shtepa, CUTIS project coordinator, the participation of four Ukrainian companies in the international exhibition in Paris once again confirmed the opinion that Ukrainian companies are fabulous.

‘Businesses are usually established by intuitively searching for potentially profitable market niches and creating products suitable for their founders, but in a very short time, they may grow to the level of a national manufacturer, or even higher. They start planning strategic export activities, creating new jobs and conquering international podiums. Therefore, it is a pleasure to be part of the CUTIS project and the SHEforSHE mentorship program aiming to help grow such businesses and support their efforts to enter the global arena, ‘Olga Shtepa summarized.

SHEforSHE Mentorship Program: CUTIS Project brings women’s businesses to a new level

In 2019, the CUTIS project presented a gender-based analysis report on the export challenges of Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The main objective of the study was to identify gender-based challenges of women-owned or -led enterprises in exporting and provide recommendations on reducing these barriers.

The report confirmed that traditional gender stereotypes hinder women’s advancement in business. The survey participants indicated that permanent access to mentoring and professional development is an important element of success in building their own business.

This is how the idea of CUTIS introducing a SHEforSHE Mentorship Program came about with the aim to support development of women’s businesses in Ukraine and promote their products in foreign markets, primarily, in Canada.

TM SASHA (children’s dresses) production

Two mentors, who already have successful experience in promoting products in foreign markets, were selected. They are Maria Terekhova (Kyiv, New Fashion Zone platform) and Ruslana Rymarska (Lviv, Smakuli cookies), participants of our U CAN Export Support Program for Ukrainian SMEs.

In partnership with the Regional Chambers of Commerce, two teams of participants were formed. The following factors were taken into account during the selection: business development dynamics, availability of an interesting product (or prospects for its creation), export potential, and most importantly, readiness for change and implementation of ideas developed during their participation in the program.

The first team headed by Maria Terekhova as mentor included the following mentees: Olesya Tymoshyk (Chernihiv, children’s clothing TM “TimTex”), Kateryna Volkova (Slavutych, TM SHUBA (home and baby textiles) and TM SASHA (children’s dresses) and Yevhenia Lukash (Kherson, EvgaKids children’s clothing Internet store).

Maria Terekhova and Kateryna Volkova

 

The second team consisting of mentees Halyna Ishchak (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, cakes and biscuits) and Iryna Fishchuk (Ivano-Frankivsk, private entrepreneur, confectionery) is headed by Ruslana Rymarska.

Meeting of Ruslana Rymarska and potential participants of the program

 

As Kateryna Volkova shared, the mentor visited the enterprise in Slavutych as part of the cooperation. During the meeting, the main challenges facing the company and complexity of entering new markets were discussed and a plan for further cooperation was developed. Every week, the mentor and the mentee discuss implementation of the developed plan of changes via Skype.

Children’s dresses TM SASHA

 

“There were a lot of issues that I have been trying to solve over the years. I found some of the answers to these questions myself, and of some with the help of Maria Terekhova, my mentor. It became clear to me that in order to work effectively in foreign markets, the company needs an export specialist. Finding one requires additional time and financial resources. Then the idea came up: why wouldn’t I master a new profession myself? This is exactly what I am focusing on now”, – Kateryna shares her experience.

According to Olesya Tymoshyk (TM “TimiTex”), while working with her mentor, she was able to modernize the design of clothes for the nursling to find a new client (B2B) and a new supplier of fabrics that she is currently negotiating with.

New product

 

“When you have been working for a long time, you get used to the technological process, your models, and you do not always understand the need for change. It is difficult to stop, figuratively speaking, step aside and watch the company without sentiment. This is where you need external experts with new, different, broader experience and knowledge, who immediately see what needs to be changed, improved, removed or added. Maria Terekhova is an expert with whom I was fortunate to work in one team. Her excellent experience, contacts and resources enhance our business and drive us to grow”, – says Olesya.

We wish our mentors and mentees further success in the development of Ukrainian women’s businesses. We will keep you informed of further achievements of these dynamic women entrepreneurs!

CUTIS held a training workshop on investment facilitation negotiations

CUTIS project conducted a two-day training workshop on investment facilitation negotiations in Kyiv on 26-27 November 2019.

The workshop was organized for trade and investment officials from the Ministry of Economic Development,Trade and Agriculture (MEDTA), Ukraine Investment Promotion Office (UkraineInvest) and other government agencies involving in investment review, approval and facilitation processes.

The key objective of the workshop is to support the Ukrainian government in preparing for investment facilitation negotiations under the WTO and other trade negotiating fora. Ukraine is actively negotiating free trade agreements with other countries (including Canada) which may include investment facilitation and other investment-related matters. As a result, it is important that Ukrainian trade negotiators and other stakeholders be prepared for investment facilitation negotiations.

Keynote speaker:

  • Wenguo Cai, Director, International Programs, CBoC
  • Oleksandra Brovko, Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert, CUTIS

The workshop provided the background context on investment facilitation at the WTO and the background context on international investment agreements, including the historical developments and traditional treaty approaches to promoting foreign investment.

Elisabeth Tuerk, Chief, International Investment Agreements Section, UNCTAD presented the UNCTAD’s global action menu for investment facilitation.

Two CUTIS trade experts from Ottawa and Kyiv made presentations on some specific investment facilitation measures for potential inclusion in a multilateral investment facilitation agreement. A total of 10 investment facilitation measures were presented and discussed during the two-day workshop.

Finally, the workshop conducted a group activity and a plenary discussion, assessing Ukraine’s readiness for negotiating the investment facilitation agreement, and for implementing those investment facilitation measures.

How to export confectionery to Canada

The Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project (CUTIS) held a practical workshop on confectionery exports to Canada.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the main trends in the Canadian confectionery market. Besides, guests had a chance to communicate with specially invited Canadian distributors and a Canadian industry expert.

Emma Turos, executive director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, noted that there are no universal recipes for entering the Canadian market, so each company should find its way, taking into consideration its own advantages and analyzing the specifics of the Canadian market. Download the presentation here

‘Canada is a migrant-friendly country with a strong presence of Eastern Europe including Ukrainians. This creates excellent conditions for promoting Ukrainian products. However, the Canadian market is significantly different from the Ukrainian and EU markets. If a Ukrainian company is successful in Europe, it doesn’t mean that its products will automatically be in high demand in Canada,’ Bertrand Walle, TFO Canada Associate, said. The channels of product promotion differ considerably as well. For example, there is no such large concentration of hypermarkets in Canada as in Europe. Instead, Canadians prefer small niche stores (health and organic products, ethnic food). To learn more about producer opportunities for the Ukrainian confectionery companies to export products to Canada please follow the link.

Canadian distributor Michael Prudkov, Crussimpex (Canada), advised Ukrainian companies to cooperate and form large product batches. In this way, each of the companies will be able to minimize logistics costs and offer Canadian buyers a wider range of products.

Yuriy Baranov, Canadian Yummy Market distributor, stressed the importance of correctly labeling products. Canada is a bilingual country, so the label must contain the product information in two languages – English and French. In the low and mid-price segment, a brand is not so important for a Canadian consumer. Therefore, it makes sense for Ukrainian companies to enter the market with a private label.

Participants of the event could learn specific requirements for food packaging and labeling from the presentation of Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS senior trade and investment policy expert, which can be downloaded via the link (in Ukrainian).

During the event, a sectoral guide for confectionery export to Canada was presented.

Maxim Boroda, CUTIS senior trade and investment analysis expert, explained main trends and consumer preferences in the Canadian confectionery market. Interestingly, three-quarters of the Canadian confectionery market (3.4 billion CAD) is chocolate products. The average Canadian consumer spent 123 CAD on confectionery and sweets in 2018.

You can find out more interesting information about the Canadian confectionery market by downloading the guide for free via the link (in Ukrainian)

Zoia Pavlenko, CUTIS environmental expert, drew the attention of the audience to the prospects for organic products in Canada. The Canadian organic market is the fifth largest in the world with sales of more than 3 billion euros. The Canadian consumer eagers to buy organic chocolate and candy at a reasonable price. COR certification is a prerequisite for organic exports to Canada. Ukrainian products can’t be sold in the Canadian market with European organic certificates.

It is also important for Ukrainian companies to be mindful of gender-neutral messaging in promoting products in the Canadian market. Booklets or advertising materials with the female body objectification definitely don’t help Ukrainian products find new connoisseurs in Canada. Examples of inappropriate advertising for the Canadian market can be downloaded via the link (in Ukrainian).