News Tag: Canada
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.

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).

How to systemize your business. Practical advice for SMEs – webinar

The CUTIS project, in partnership with the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, held a  webinar with Colleen Krebs, Manager of Business Services, Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba (Canada).

Colleen Krebs completed her bachelor’s degree in marketing and immediately launched her entrepreneurial pursuits in the coffee, construction, and renovation industries. She operated a successful café for over eight years managing all aspects of the business including product/service development, H/R, sales, operations planning, and inventory management.

In 2008 Colleen joined the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba where she is currently Manager of Business Services. She continues to inspire and motivate women to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams by drawing upon her expertise as a skilled facilitator, business advisor, and passionate interpersonal connector.

You can download Colleen’s presentation via the link 

During the webinar participants:

  • Understood what systems are and why they are critical to your business success
  • Understood the benefits of having a systemized business
  • Understood how integrating systems affect business outcomes
  • Learnt more about the mindset and approach entrepreneurs should adopt when apply change to their business
  • Walked though the “how to” implement systems that stick.

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 

The CUTIS project improves government officials’ knowledge of international investment law

The CUTIS project held a 2-day webinar for government officials on international investment law.

The speaker – J. Anthony VanDuzer, Hyman Soloway Professor of Business and Trade Law, University of Ottawa.

The webinar provided an overview of the international investment regime, including bilateral investment treaties and investment chapters in free trade agreements, and current reform discussions. The emphasis was on policy implications rather than the technical detail of investment treaty provisions.

The first day was devoted to the substantive investor protection standards and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arrangements in existing investment treaties along with a discussion of treaty practise and the issues that have arisen in practice.

Canada’s treaty practice and ISDS experience were used as a case study.

The second day was addressed possible reforms to investor protection standards and ISDS. The speaker canvassed treaty drafting strategies that are designed to better balance investor protection with the host state’s right to regulate compared to traditional treaty protections as well as alternatives to investment treaty protection. He also covered proposals for ISDS reform focussing on the reforms currently being discussed in UNCITRAL Working Group III, including the EU proposal for a multilateral investment court.

How to export organic to Canada – webinar

The CUTIS project, in cooperation with the Export Promotion Office and Organic Ukraine association, held a series of webinars for Ukrainian organic producers who are interested in exporting to new markets, including the Canadian market. More than 40 organic companies participated in the event.

Why may Canada be attractive to Ukrainian organic producers? North America remains a leader in the consumption of organics. The United States occupies the first place with the rest of the world considerably lagging. Canada, with 3 billion euros of its organic market volume, ranks sixth in the global ranking.

During the event, CUTIS project experts and the Canada Organic Trade Association talked about the main features of successful organic exports to the Canadian market. Export Promotion Office team describes how to use helpful tools for finding and analyzing new markets.

Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Ukrainian Senior Trade Policy Expert, analyzed regulatory requirements for exporting organic products to Canada under the Free Trade Agreement between countries. Oleksandra also focused on the importance of labelling requirements for organic products in the Canadian market (download the presentation).

Zoia Pavlenko, CUTIS Environmental Expert, spoke about the specifics of the Canadian organic market and drew participants’ attention to the product groups that are most favoured among Canadian consumers (download the presentation).

Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association of Canada, described the Canadian organic market structure. Besides, she talked about consumer preferences and organic certification for the Canadian market (download the presentation).

Webinar recording 

 

CUTIS develops training skills of Ukrainian regional business associations representatives

The CUTIS project conducted a two-day online training on May 26-27 for Ukrainian regional chambers of commerce and industry (CCI).

The event was attended by 29 participants from 10 regions of Ukraine – trainers, assistant trainers and other CCI specialists who plan to transform professional consultations into a training format, as well as external specialists who work closely with the CCI.

The trainer – Iryna Kirkina, a business coach with 20 years’ experience in corporate and open training, director of the consulting agency “Personnel”.

During the event, participants were introduced to the basics of conducting an effective training process, including:

  • features of adult learning
  • methodology of how to design a training program and its structure
  • methods of involving participants in the learning process

Networking was a significant part of online training: participants shared their own experiences, compared their background with the expertise of colleagues, and expanded the “coaching horizons”, based on acquired knowledge and new experience.

Participants noted that thanks to the training, they came up with ideas for new business trainings and learned many coaching life hacks. For many participants, the event became a trigger for increasing motivation and improving self-confidence.

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.

How to export IT services to Canada – webinar

The Greater Toronto Area is considered to be one of the world’s main high-tech hubs rated next to the Silicon Valley of California, Boston, Seattle and Washington in the United States.

There is a growing demand for IT professionals in the Canadian market. Approximately 216,000 new jobs will be created in the sector by the end of the year 2021. Due to immigration and the involvement of students from Canadian universities, the country will be able to meet only 30% of these needs.

Thus, the conclusion is obvious: Canadian companies will look for opportunities to attract foreign professionals and companies. And this is an excellent chance for Ukraine!

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce hold a webinar “Export of IT services to Canada: presentation of the export manual and recommendations from practitioners.” Information partner of the event – IT Ukraine Association.

Maxim Boroda, CUTIS Ukrainian Senior Trade Analysis Expert, told about key parameters and trends in the Canadian ICT market (download the presentation).  

Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Ukrainian Senior Trade Policy Expert, analyzed the main conditions and requirements for the export of IT services to Canada (download the presentation).

Features of Canadian business culture and marketing activities in Canada were discussed during the presentation of Olga Shtepa, CUTIS Ukrainian Project Coordinator (download the presentation).

John de Boer, SecDev Group Principal, paid attention to new opportunities for the Ukrainian companies in the Canadian IT market in the time of COVID-19 (download the presentation).

Igor Volzhanin, СЕО DataSine, shared his experience in fundraising, business culture and digital customer acquisition (download the presentation).

📌 Download the guide “I Can Export: How to export information and communication technology (ICT) services to Canada” via the link (in Ukrainian).