News Tag: international trade
CUTIS held an export forum for apparel and footwear manufacturers interested in trade with Canada

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine chamber of commerce held a practical export forum in Kyiv for Ukrainian companies interested in exporting apparel and footwear to Canada.

During the event, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the Canadian footwear and apparel market, get acquainted with specific features of product promoting in Canada and communicate with Canadian experts who have huge experience in cooperation with Canadian buyers and distributors. The forum brought together about 50 small and medium enterprises.

Adam Barbolet, Senior Trade Commissioner of Embassy of Canada to Ukraine welcomed the guests.

‘Canada has been and remains a reliable partner of Ukraine. The Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine (CUFTA) came in force in 2017 and has visible results in terms of trade growth between countries. For example, Ukraine has become one of the leaders of apple juice suppliers in Canada.

We are interested in further economic cooperation with Ukraine. We do hope that more and more Ukrainian small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to export their goods to Canada. We want to see these products in the Canadian market, we want to help Ukrainian business to be successful in the Canadian market,’ Adam Barbolet said.

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 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 costs and prices information
  • 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.

In 2018, 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. By 2023, the total sales of clothing will reach CAD 43 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 3.4%. At the same time, sales of hosiery will increase faster than any other category.

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. By 2023, total footwear sales will reach CAD 9.5 billion.

Sales of man’s footwear will grow faster than other categories. The reason is the increase of men’s interest in fashion trends, especially among young people, as well as the liberalization of the office dress code.

Oleksandra Brovko, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert, clarified regulatory and labeling requirements for Ukrainian goods in the Canadian market. She drew the attention of the participants to the rules of origin.

Oleksandra Brovko noted that the rules of origin in the CUFTA are based on the so-called North American model, and therefore sometimes different from the rules of origin contained in other free trade agreements between Ukraine and the European and post-Soviet countries.

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.

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

Apparel and footwear export guides were presented during the second part of the event.

You can download apparel export guide here (in Ukrainian)

You can download footwear export guide here (in Ukrainian)

Participants also had a chance to listen to the presentations of Canadian experts as well as ask questions related to Ukrainian goods prospects in the Canadian market.

TFO Canada consultant Maria Guzman (apparel market) explained how Ukrainian producers should build mutually beneficial relationships with Canadian buyers and shared the success stories of Ukrainian companies participated in CUTIS’s U CAN Export supporting program for small and medium-sized enterprises.

TFO Canada consultant Phil Zwibel (footwear market) brought into focus the typical mistakes Ukrainian manufacturers make entering foreign markets, including Canada. The logistics issues, misunderstanding of market specifics and unwillingness to update a product to the needs of local consumers are the main challenges Ukrainian companies need to overcome.

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.

Interesting facts about free trade agreements with Canada

There are 14 free trade agreements currently in force in Canada involving 51 countries. According to Statistics Canada, at present Canada’s trade with these countries accounted for 78.5% of Canada’s IMPORTS and 89.7% of Canada’s EXPORTS in 2018.

The objective of free trade agreements is to increase trade with partner countries by reducing tariff barriers and opening access to foreign markets.

Three biggest free trade agreements:

North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. Canada’s total trade with the member countries of NAFTA was valued at $788 billion and accounted for 66.8% of Canada’s total trade with the world in 2018.

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA. Canada’s total trade with the member countries of CETA was valued at $118 billion and accounted for 10.0% of Canada’s total trade with the world in 2018.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP. Canada’s total trade with the member countries of CPTPP was valued at $98 billion and accounted for 8.3% of Canada’s total trade with the world in 2018.

On August 1, 2017, Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, CUFTA, entered into force. The Agreement will immediately open customs-free access to 98% of Canada’s market. This refers both to agricultural and industrial goods.

Canada’s situation is more complex. Right after the Agreement comes into force, the duties will be 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. Besides, the Agreement provides for partial liberalization on the agricultural products key for Ukraine as well as some tariff rate quotas and specific goods.

Vinnytsia women entrepreneurs discussed the most promising sectors for Ukrainian exports to Canada

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 October 17, in cooperation with the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second SheChampion seminar was held in Vinnytsia, bringing together about 30 participants.

During the event, the participants learned about gender issues in international trade, and perspective sectors for Ukrainian small and medium enterprises in the Canadian market. Inna Konovchuk, a leading expert at the Vinnytsia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, provided key information about Canada which Ukrainian businesses need to be successful in the Canadian market.

Maksym Boroda, CUTIS senior trade and investment policy expert, paid attention to major trends in the Canadian footwear, clothing, furniture, and confectionery markets.

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to take part in an interactive master class on employees’ motivation. Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender expert, explained how to retain key specialists using non-financial motivation.

In the process of the seminar, women entrepreneurs exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving the export strategies of their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Women entrepreneurs from Volyn region discussed the barriers on the way to international 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 October 10, in cooperation with the Volyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second SheChampion seminar was held in Lutsk, bringing together about 20 participants.

Women entrepreneurs discussed gender issues in international trade, learned more about online trading and shared success stories of finding new partners in foreign markets.

Successful craftswoman Kateryna Voylova has shared the secrets of opening an online store on Etsy e-commerce platform.

Olena Tarasenko from the Volyn enterprise “VGP” (TM “Ruta”, big paper products producer) described the history of export development to EU countries.

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to take part in an interactive master class on employees’ motivation. Vira Porovska, CUTIS gender expert explained how to retain key specialists using non-financial motivation.

In the process of the seminar, women entrepreneurs exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving the export strategies of their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Vinnytsia, on October 17. Participation in the event is free in case of pre-registration

SheChampion: Women entrepreneurs from Kherson and Chernihiv learned new life hacks about entering 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 September 26, in cooperation with the Kherson Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the second #SheChampion seminar was held in Kherson, bringing together about 30 participants.

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

Lota Bertulfo, CUTIS principal gender equality expert, made a presentation related to gender concerns in international trade. Victoria Gavrenkova (founder of agricultural companies Kaissa, Sun Light, BBBV), Natalia Yavorskaya (manager of the honey section of LLC “Sodruzhestvo”) and Yevgeniia Lukash (founder of LLC “EvgaKids”, children’s clothing) shared their export stories and gave practical advice for export-oriented businesses based on the previous experience. 

On October 3, the second #SheChampion seminar was held in Chernihiv in cooperation with the Chernihiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry. About 30 women entrepreneurs participated in the event.

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

In particular, Maksym Boroda, CUTIS Senior Trade and Investment Policy Expert, paid attention to major trends in the Canadian footwear, clothing, furniture, and confectionery markets.

Besides, such significant business issues as cybersecurity and the importance of choosing the right digital systems for business development were discussed. 

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. The next seminar will be in Vinnytsia on October 10. So keep an eye on the updates.

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.

Main trade challenges facing women entrepreneurs

The Canada–Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) project co-delivered 12 World Business Café workshops in collaboration with regional chambers of commerce and with the participation of Ukraine’s Export Promotion Office.

Nearly 300 businesswomen attended in total.

The workshops aimed to define the challenges and the needs of women entrepreneurs that relate to exporting. The idea was to collect baseline information that would be helpful for stakeholders seeking to enhance business support services for women entrepreneurs in the future.

Discussions held during World Business Café workshops point to a number of challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

The challenges reported fall into two main categories: export-related and gender-related. Participants were also asked about the types of assistance they would like to receive to help them overcome those challenges.

The top export-related challenges mentioned by workshop participants were a lack of information about accessing foreign markets, including information on regulatory requirements and standards, and a lack of relevant skills that enable exporting, such as negotiation skills and foreign-language skills.

Other challenges reported by participants included a lack of trade-related tools, a lack of business support services to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) become export-ready; difficulty finding partners in foreign markets; difficulty accessing capital; and a lack of knowledge about business culture in other countries.

To address those challenges, participants would like to receive targeted training on topics such as how to access foreign markets and how to develop an export strategy. They also asked for more online resources to support exporting, including step-by-step guides and information on the regulations and standards of importing countries.

The top gender-related challenges limiting the success of women entrepreneurs noted by participants were gender stereotypes in Ukrainian society, both in general and in business culture specifically.

Another major challenge was the double burden: women’s typical dual responsibility for home and business.

To download a report please follow the link.

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.

SheChampion: women entrepreneurs from Kherson discussed new prospects on the way to international 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.

The meeting, held on June 5 in Kherson, united 26 representatives including businesswomen (agriculture and food, light industry, shipbuilding and machine building), public organization representatives, and local authorities.

During the event, Vira Porovska, a Ukrainian gender expert of the CUTIS project, presented a gender based analysis (GBA) of the export challenges of Ukrainian micro, small and medium enterprises in 5 industries (apparel, footwear, confectionery, furniture, and IT services).

Larisa Ponomarenko, Head of the Kherson RCC Center for International Cooperation shared information about the CUFTA and the prospects of entering the Canadian market, its features, preferences and trends.

Victoria Gavrenkova, co-founder of companies exporting sunflower oil to more than 44 countries, including Canada, shared their experience in starting their own business and entering new markets.

Marina Nikolayeva, co-owner and director of yacht and exquisite wooden furniture company, talked about her own experience of coping with double burden, delegation and distribution of responsibilities and constant self-development.

During the masterclass in sales conducted by Vira Porovska, businesswomen exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. Next seminar will be in Lutsk on June 20.  So keep an eye on the updates.

SheChampion: businesswomen from Vinnytsia learned how to overcome barriers on the way 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.

The meeting, held on May 30 in Vinnytsia, united 30 representatives including businesswomen, public organization representatives, and local authorities.

During the event, Barbara MacLaren, a Canadian gender expert of the CUTIS project presented a gender based analysis (GBA) of the export challenges of Ukrainian micro, small and medium enterprises in 5 industries (apparel, footwear, confectionery, furniture, and IT services).

Svitlana Vyazilovska, CEO and owner of an agriculture company Biofarm Organic, shared her experience in exporting and entering foreign markets. Svitlana selected the most interesting for the audience topics, for instance, business profitability, searching for partners, certification, logistics, etc.

During the masterclass in sales conducted by Vira Porovska, a Ukrainian gender expert of the CUTIS project, businesswomen exchanged advice, accumulated new ideas for improving their enterprises, shared their experience and set up new business contacts.

Similar events are planned in other regions of Ukraine. Next seminar will be in Kherson on June 5.  So keep an eye on the updates.