News Tag: free trade
SheChampion: Vinnytsia and Khmelnytsky women entrepreneurs studied successful export experience to foreign markets

The CUTIS project in cooperation with regional chambers of commerce and industry launched a series of #SheChampion seminars. The main goal is to discuss barriers women entrepreneurs face in business and international trade, as well as share experience in entering foreign markets.

On February 19, in cooperation with the Khmelnytsky Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the first #SheChampion seminar was held in Khmelnytsky, bringing together 30 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, new trends in the Canadian markets and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender equality expert, made a presentation related to the main barriers for women’s SMEs in exporting (according to GBA report). She also conducted a master class ‘How to find the right people to your business’. The participants learned how to determine what competencies a specialist should possess and how to conduct a professional interview in the absence of a qualified HR.

Maryana Ovcharuk (handcrafted soap “Soap Stories”) and Galina Mikhnyak (CASCAD-HOLOD, furniture and logistics services) explained the complexity of entering new markets based on their own experiences. Besides, they focused on barriers and provided practical advice on how to overcome the challenges.

On February 20, the third #SheChampion seminar was held in Vinnytsia in cooperation with the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. About 36 women entrepreneurs participated in the event.

During the seminar, the participants learned about gender issues in international trade, and perspective sectors for Ukrainian small and medium enterprises in the Canadian market.

In particular, Vira Porovska CUTIS gender equality expert shared the main achievements of the SHEforSHE mentorship program for women entrepreneurs.

Maria Terekhova, managing partner of the New Fashion Zone platform and one of the mentors of the SHEforSHE program, spoke about the changes introduced by the participants (manufacturers of children’s clothing) as a part of the preparation for the Apparel Sourcing Paris exhibition. Maria also shared her impressions of negotiation with foreign buyers in Paris and explained the basic requirements of foreign distributors to Ukrainian clothing and textiles. Participants also discussed the specifics of the Canadian apparel market and change Ukrainian producers need to adapt.

Besides, trainer Kateryna Voylova provided expertise and professional advice concerning promoting hand-made products on the ETSY platform. During the presentation, issues such as product placement, pricing, and paying difficulties were raised.

In the end, Vira Porovska held a master class to increase staff motivation.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Dnipro on March 3. So keep an eye on the updates.

Lviv entrepreneurs learned about new opportunities for exporting apparel and footwear to Canada

The CUTIS project, the Canada-Ukraine chamber of commerce in cooperation with Ukrlegprom association, Lviv Business School and West Ukrainian Fashion Industry Cluster held a practical seminar in Lviv for Ukrainian companies interested in exporting apparel and footwear to Canada.

During the seminar, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the Canadian footwear and apparel market, as well as to get acquainted with specific features of product promoting in Canada.

The event brought together about 30 companies specializing in women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, as well as women’s, men’s, sports and children’s footwear.

Yuriy Samets, Chairman of the Board of the Western Ukrainian Fashion Industry Cluster and Tetiana Izovit, President of Ukrlegprom association, welcomed the guests.

Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and CUTIS project manager spoke about the CUTIS export portal, which will provide relevant information to Canadian and international businesses seeking reliable potential Ukrainian partners.

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

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

Maxim Boroda, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Analysis Expert, told about features, trends, and consumer preferences in the Canadian apparel & footwear market.

It’s an interesting fact, in 2018, Canadian consumers spent CAD 7.8 billion on shoes, in particular, CAD 3.7 billion on women’s shoes, CAD 3.1 billion on men’s and CAD 1 billion on children’s shoes. In 2018, shoe sales in the Canadian market have increased by 3.7% in value.

During the same period, Canadians spent CAD 36 billion on clothing, in particular, CAD 18 billion on women’s clothing and about CAD 11 billion on men’s clothing. Consequently, the women’s clothing market in Canada is almost twice the size of the men’s market.

Maxim Boroda also presented practical export guides to Canada for apparel and footwear producers.

Vira Porovska, CUTIS Gender Expert, illustrated why gender-sensitive marketing is an essential requirement of Canadian consumers.

Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert, clarified regulatory and labeling requirements for Ukrainian goods in the Canadian market.

Zoia Pavlenko, CUTIS Environmental Expert, explained the specifics of voluntary certification of Ukrainian products for the Canadian market and argued why environmentally sustainable production practices are competitive advantages in the Canadian market.

Borys Didai, KaDar Shoe Factory (Lutsk) export manager, told about the company’s entry into the Canadian market and the challenges facing Ukrainian manufacturers in this market. You can read the full KaDar success story via the link.

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).

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.

Ukrainian footwear companies participated in Canada’s largest shoe show for the third time

From August 18 to August 20, Ukrainian shoe companies participated in Canada’s largest Toronto Shoe Show.

This year more than 650 Canadian and European footwear and accessories brands were taking part in the exhibition.

As part of U CAN Export Support Program, the CUTIS project supported the participation of seven Ukrainian shoe manufacturers:

  • KaDar (Lutsk, men’s and women’s casual shoes)
  • Kredo (Khmelnitsky,  rubber footwear with EVA soles)
  • Olteya (Zhytomyr, women’s leather shoes)
  • Alisa-Line (Kharkiv, children’s rubber footwear)
  • Realpaks (Kharkiv, women’s and men’s rubber shoes)
  • Shoesprom Group (Kyiv, men’s and women’s shoes)
  • Stepter (Lviv region, men’s and women’s shoes)

This is the third shoe show in Canada for the Ukrainian footwear business. Previous trade shows took place on August 2018 and February 2019.

The results of the first two exhibitions are positive. Six Ukrainian producers have already delivered their samples to Canadian buyers, and three deals are almost on a finish line.

Before the exhibition, the CUTIS project organized a meeting of Ukrainian business with Cougar shoe company, which has been successfully operating in the Canadian shoe market since 1948!

Besides, as part of the retail tour, representatives of the Ukrainian shoe industry visited several malls and shoe stores in Toronto, including Nordstrom, ALDO, Hudson’s Bay, Steve Madden, Brawns. Such an introductory tour is very important because it helps Ukrainian businesses understand specific of Canada’s footwear industry and consumers’ preferences.

The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) entered into force on August 1, 2017, and opened customs-free access to 98% of Canada’s market for Ukrainian companies. Canada’s situation is more complex. The duties were eliminated for 72% of Canadian goods. The customs tariffs for the rest of 27% will be gradually reduced in compliance with transition periods – 3, 5, and 7 years.

The Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) Project is a 5-year (2016-2021) Canadian development assistance initiative designed to lower poverty in Ukraine through increasing 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.

The CUTIS project implements U CAN EXPORT Support Program in five priority sectors: clothing, footwear, furniture, confectionery, and IT services.

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.

Ukraine significantly increased its exports to Canada – infographics

In 2018, Ukraine exported 78.2 million USD in goods to Canada – up by 50 percent in comparison with 2017.

If you compare the figures with 2016, the dynamics would be even more impressive – growth is almost three times.

Imports from Canada to Ukraine are also growing. It has increased from 299.2 to 333.1 million USD.

The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) has a great impact on developing the volume of goods exporting to Canada. The agreement entered into force on August 1, 2017 and opened customs-free access to 98% of Canada’s market for Ukrainian companies. Canada’s situation is more complex. The duties were eliminated only for 72% of Canadian goods. The duties for the rest of 27% will be gradually reduced in compliance with transition periods – 3, 5, and 7 years.