News Tag: international trade
Online sales on the ETSY platform: how to succeed – webinar

The CUTIS project and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar with Kateryna Voylova, a woman entrepreneur and a business coach who leads the largest team of Ukrainian sellers on the Etsy platform.

Kateryna is the founder of the training community on Facebook and a woman entrepreneur (the Galvan-art store). For more than four years, Kateryna has been teaching courses on business development through the Etsy platform. She is leading in Etsy Ukrteam – the largest team of Ukrainian sellers on the Etsy platform.

In the program:

  • How to open a new store on Etsy
  • COVID-19 pandemic: challenges and opportunities in quarantine and post-quarantine period on Etsy platform
  • How to properly prepare your business for the High Season
  • Prospects for online business in general and Etsy business in particular.

Webinar recording 

 

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.

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).

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.

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 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.