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  • Tuesday, October 22, 2019 9:10 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)


    Save the date and have your say - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Ottawa or by livestream web-link.


    Join our partner Global Affairs Canada in an interactive dynamic event on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The event jointly facilitated by the Government of Canada and the European Union will be held at Victoria Hall, 111 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1N 1J1 for in-person attendees. The Forum is also accessible virtually via livestreaming in both English and French. Registration forms are available upon request through email at 


    CSFregistration-inscriptionFSC@international.gc.ca 


    before November 1, 2019. Technical details for virtual participants will be provided after event registration.


    The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a landmark

    agreement that upholds and promotes the values shared by the EU and Canada. Under CETA Article 22.5, Canada and the EU are to facilitate a joint annual Civil Society Forum. The first forum on Trade and Sustainable Development under the CETA was held in September 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.


    This second edition of the Forum as mandated by the EU-Canada CETA will provide an

    opportunity for Canadians from different businesses and institutions to engage together with officials from the Government of Canada, the European Commission and members of the EU civil society on implementation of the CETA. This will be focused on Trade and Sustainable Development, Trade and Labour, and Trade and Environment.

    Participants will also discuss ways the CETA can further help promote trade flows and practices that contribute to enhancing decent work and environmental protection. This will be instrumental in shaping the positions and decisions of CETA’s Trade and Sustainable

    Committee.


    OWIT Members are strongly encouraged to participate and engage in the discussions,

    and provide feedback on the effective implementation of the CETA chapters on Trade and

    Sustainable Development (including the implementation on CETA’s Trade and Gender

    recommendation), Trade and Labour, and Trade and Environment.


    Click here for more information and registration details.


    Register now!


  • Tuesday, October 22, 2019 9:01 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)




    OWIT-Toronto participated in The Friends of Africa Economic Development Summit, hosted over a two-day event in Toronto in October, which brought together high-level public and private sector representatives from African countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco and Nigeria with their Canadian counterparts. The interactive dialogue was focused on facilitating collaboration and delving into strategic opportunities to fast-track innovative growth in entrepreneurship development across diverse sectors.


    The Summit organized by Casa Foundation Canada was officially opened by the Foundation’s President, Olutoyin Oyelade, who emphasized the objective of providing entrepreneurs, companies, and leaders a networking platform to expand businesses that contribute to economic development. She noted the need to have a solid foundation for new entrepreneurs to enable them to build a more sustainable private sector and to ensure inclusive sustainable growth of businesses.


    Representing OWIT Toronto and moderating a panel discussion on developing an inclusive economy, VP Stephanie Dei and current National Coordinator for the WE EMPOWER Programme of the EU, UN Women and ILO, highlighted the important role of strengthening women leadership and businesses. This experience sharing session provided concrete examples of what the Canadian and Moroccan government and private sector were doing in support of advancing women’s businesses.


    Prof. Wendy Cukier, Founder Diversity Institute, Ryerson University, one of OWIT-Toronto’s partners, noted in comparison that African women entrepreneurs were stronger in numbers than in Canada. She described the Canadian Government’s policy and legal approach to women’s economic empowerment through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy as a way to catch up, increase and double the number of women entrepreneurs by 2025. “The Government of Canada has committed $2 billion to invest in women’s economic and social development. This investment reflects a strong commitment to doubling the number of women entrepreneurs in the country,” she noted.


    She highlighted the government’s strong commitment to help women to grow their businesses through the creation of a Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. The Hub was set up to engage women business support organizations across the country (including OWIT); to challenge stereotypes and build awareness of women’s entrepreneurial success; to improve access to financing, talent, networks and expertise; and to promote internationalization and engagement of women in international trade. She

    emphasized the role of institutions like the Diversity Institute and the Knowledge Hub in supporting women to export through their partnership with OWIT Toronto, as well as the role of Canadian trade consulates around the world which facilitate and enable women to set their sights higher in trading globally.


    Laura Reinholz, Director of BMO for Women at BMO Bank of Montreal, detailed the BMO for Women program which provides a platform to provide education, financing, training, networking, and dedicated online tools and resources for women entrepreneurs. She also highlighted the Bank’s involvement in the We Empower challenge.


    Ambassador Souriya Otmani of the Kingdom of Morocco in Canada shared Morocco’s strong commitment in supporting women’s economic empowerment. She stated how this had helped boost productivity, increase economic diversification, incomes and additional positive development outcomes. She provided examples of successful projects in both the public and private sector that had tremendously improved women entrepreneurs’ livelihoods, their families and communities.


    The underlying theme at the interactive session was women’s economic empowerment is good for business and for the economy. This has been further underscored by a UNDP study on the Sustainable Development Goals that indicates that investing in programmes that improve income generating activities for women can return $7 for every dollar spent.


    Summing up the actionable points in the session, Prof. Cukier emphasized the need to outline and document the challenges and obstacles to women’s participation in business; the key role of undertaking research to have facts, backup data and statistics in order to address these challenges; the necessity to have accountability as to what has been done and its impact; and finally the increasing need to have diversity in women representation especially at Board levels. This would ensure a more inclusive approach in bringing women businesses centerstage.


    More information about the Ninth Edition Friends of Africa Economic Development Summit can be found here.


  • Friday, October 04, 2019 9:48 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)



    Tampa, FL — Businesswomen from more than 20 chapters worldwide will gather in Tampa, Florida on October 23-25, 2019, at the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) 19th International Conference, to explore issues and experiences in today’s tumultuous international trade arena.


    Themed “The Year of the Woman”, the event includes tours and a conference boasting an array of international speakers, special events, a port harbor cruise, annual awards dinner and networking opportunities, followed by an annual Board Meeting open to all OWIT members (and those considering joining OWIT). “We have a lot to offer here in Tampa,” says Christyna Doege, President of OWIT-Tampa Bay (TBOWIT). “I’m thrilled to welcome participants from far and wide to experience the city and to learn from top-notch experts in their field.”


    Program Activities include:


    • Tampa Business Tour (October 23) – Bringing participants to some of the most innovative and unique highlights in Tampa’s downtown area to see firsthand how the city went from “Cigar City” to an urban center for international trade.

    • Conference Day (October 24) – The conference will include 2 keynote speakers, 5 panels, and 2 powerful “Power 10” talks.

    • Port Tampa Bay Tour (October 24) – After the conference, get a waterside view of the port’s activity on this hour-long harbor tour. See first-hand how cargo moves around the world.

    • TBOWIT Annual Awards Dinner (October 24) – Networking, Education, and Scholarship. This is a fun-filled evening with keynote speaker, Alex Sink, former Florida CFO, and TBOWIT International Person of the Year awardee, Maryann Ferenc, CEO, Mise En Place. TBOWIT will also award university scholarships and hear from past winners.


    Conference Day highlights include (October 24):


    • Reading the Tea Leaves: Trade in 2020 – Touching on hot topics such as USMCA and the expansion of the digital economy to escalating trade tensions with China, and the uncertainty of Brexit, trade policy experts will give their insights on what’s to come in the trade space in 2020. Panelists include Yuri Unno, Director, International Trade Policy, Toyota, and Susan Harper, Consul General, Canadian Consulate.


    • A Canal, a Career, a Challenge – Ilya Espino de Marotta, Vice President of Transit Business with the Panama Canal Authority, will present this eye-opening and inspirational keynote. It is not every day that you’ll hear from the chief engineer of the Panama Canal expansion.


    • In Praise of OWIT Women of the Year: Retrospectives and Perspectives - A dynamic and diverse panel of past OWIT International Women of the Year Award winners from the US, Canada and Mexico share their OWIT journeys and insights on the global trade scene and where women are going from here. Find out what OWIT did for them….and what they’re doing now.


    • Business Beyond Borders: Demystifying Trade with Europe and Latin America – Moderator Christina Puig, News Anchor for NBC Telemundo, will ask panelists about the hottest business sectors, how to take advantage of existing government and in-country resources, and legal protections to ensure companies thrive abroad.


    • Make Disruption Your Wonder Woman Superpower - Women who disrupt the status quo are a special breed of leaders. Author Dr. Patti Fletcher will share what sets them apart based on her studies and work with some of the most successful female disrupters in the world.


    • Born Leaders: Genes, Luck or Hard Work? - Three successful trailblazers discuss their career paths and all they’ve encountered along the way to reveal what it takes to achieve success as women in male-dominated industries.


    • The African Trade Revolution – Moderated by OWIT Nairobi’s Past President Frida Owinga, the panel will present opportunities that exist across the continent and an overview of doing business with Africa.


    “We’ve prepared a robust program featuring an amazing line-up of dynamic and informative speakers,” explains Jennifer Diaz, President, OWIT International. “Delegates will have the opportunity to connect with leaders from around the world, learn about top international trade issues, and leave with valuable tools to utilize in their own workplace. Our OWIT Tampa Bay chapter is to be commended.”


    For more information and registration details, visit here.


    About OWIT:

    The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is a non-profit professional organization comprised of a network of 2500 international trade professionals in local chapters located in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Its mission, “United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business,” provides members with a collective forum to enhance personal and professional development, exchange business contacts, and drive global policy initiatives.


    For more information, visit here.


    For more information, please contact:


    Christyna Doege

    President, OWIT-Tampa Bay (TBOWIT)

    cdoege@tampaport.com


  • Friday, September 27, 2019 9:48 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)


    The European Commissioner for Trade, Ms. Cecilia Malmström, the WE EMPOWER programme of the European Union, UN Women, and the International Labour Organization co-hosted the roundtable discussion Women and Trade in the Context of CETA in Montreal in July. The event was attended by organizations that support women’s economic empowerment (including OWIT-Toronto, represented by VP Stephanie Dei, current National Coordinator for the WE EMPOWER Programme of the EU, UN Women and ILO), women entrepreneurs actively engaged in exports to the European Union, and several representatives from the public sector committed to advancing women’s participation in international trade.


    The discussion focused on the opportunities and challenges to increasing women’s participation in trade between Canada and the European Union in the context of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Attendees examined three leading gender-based barriers to trade: limited access to capital and investors, limited access to market information and networks, and cultural biases and gender-based discrimination.


    Commissioner Malmström pointed out that in September 2018, CETA’s first Joint Committee adopted a recommendation seeking to increase women’s access to and benefit from the opportunities created by CETA. The EU and Canada are now implementing it. In April they jointly organized a workshop in Brussels where businesswomen, civil society, public sector and international organizations, including OWIT-Toronto, shared experiences on integrating the gender dimension in trade policy. The European Commission also recently launched a study on Women in Trade. Carried out by the International Trade Centre, it will fill an important knowledge gap on the participation of women in extra-EU trade and barriers they face.


    The Honourable Jim Carr, Canadian Minister of International Trade Diversification, highlighted Canada’s strong commitment to supporting trade opportunities for women so that they can grow and scale their businesses to take advantage of the benefits of CETA and other trade agreements. He mentioned that Canada is increasing the number of trade commissioners in Europe as part of the government’s trade diversification strategy and commitment to serve Canadian firms in key overseas markets. Minister Carr also emphasized the important contribution women make to sustainable economic growth through trade.


    Participants identified recommendations for addressing some barriers to trade faced by women entrepreneurs. They expressed the need for more women-only trade missions, and for the inclusion of women in standard missions. They also discussed the importance of continuing to exchange experiences and best practices, and to highlight success stories through identifying role models and storytelling. Another interesting recommendation was to consider stepping away from the focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) as the current focus may keep women who are excelling in other sectors out of the newly-created wealth opportunities. The importance of engagement with immigrants and Diaspora population who have existing networks was brought up as a way to access new markets.


    A summary of the discussion can be found here.


    More Information about the Trade for Her Conference in the Brussels can be found here.
  • Friday, September 27, 2019 9:44 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)


    CanExport, the Canadian government’s program that helps small and medium sized companies do business abroad, has announced changes to its eligibility criteria. As of August 22, 2019, the CanExport for SMEs project funding limit increased up to $75,000 to cover up to 75% of eligible expenses related to international market development. The CanExport SMEs program requires applicants to submit a project for which expenses total between $20,000 and $100,000. The program now reimburses up to 75% of eligible costs to offer between $15,000 and $75,000 in funding per project. Companies participating in trade missions organized by Global Affairs Canada for groups under-represented in international trade (e.g. women, LGBTQ2 and Indigenous exporters) may exceptionally submit a project of less than $20,000 for consideration.

    The CanExport program will provide your company with financial support and will allow you to gain access to personalized advice from experienced trade commissioners that will help you identity potential markets, partnerships, and opportunities to achieve your international business needs.

    If you want your business to grow globally, you may choose up to five export markets to target where your company has no or minimal business. In order to be eligible, your company must be for-profit, be an incorporated legal entity or LLP, have a CRA business number (unless Indigenous-owned or led), employ no more than 500 full-time equivalent employees, and declare between $100K and $100M in annual revenue in Canada during the last 12 months.

    Activities eligible for CanExport SMEs funding include business travel, market research, participation at trade events and fairs, adaptation and translation of marketing tools, intellectual property protection, and adaptation of contracts, as well as expert advice on business, legal or tax matters. Most applications are approved in less than 25 days.

    On top of supporting Canadian SMEs, CanExport also provides funding to innovators who want to develop R&D collaborations to commercialize new technologies through partnerships in foreign markets, to associations that would like to pursue international business development activities, and to Canadian communities that wish to attract, retain and expand foreign direct investment.


    For more information visit here.

  • Friday, September 27, 2019 9:33 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)




    “Wonderful turnout, great range of participants, and a selection of excellent speakers, I loved that panel!” This is how OWIT-Toronto member Aylin Luisi of UPS summed up our 20th anniversary celebration and Awards ceremony held at the Toronto Board of Trade on September 17. An inspiring panel of our chapter’s founders, including Candice Rice, Molly Zito, Susan Baka and Gail Morris, shared their international trade journeys and insights on global trade issues in a fireside chat moderated by Cindie-Eve Bourassa of Global Affairs Canada. Some of the take-aways:

    • OWIT was launched in Canada after the first Business Women’s Trade Mission to Washington.
    • Joining OWIT helped all the panelists develop a strong network of contacts, which often led to new roles or new business.
    • Many other valuable resources exist in Canada to help women export, including the Business Women in Trade program and Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada, EDC, BDC and the Magnet Export Portal.
    • The role of women in trade has evolved dramatically in the last 20 years, with the topic of trade and women’s economic empowerment now on the agendas of international organizations like the UN, APEC, OECD and World Trade Organization.
    • Growing protectionism is a big challenge on the international trade front.
    • Getting involved with OWIT and networking are great ways for young women to meet role models and advance their careers or businesses.

    The panel was followed by an equally inspiring Awards presentation to outstanding women who have made a mark in trade. The 2019 winners are:

    • Isabella Bertani, JoAnna Townsend Award for Leadership in International Trade, recognized for her global speaking on trade topics and for mentoring young women

    • Myra Sable, Sable & Rosenfeld, Woman Exporter of the Year Award, honoured for putting Canada on the map entering new markets and conquering taste categories with win-after-win in international specialty food competitions for almost 50 years.

    • Hamideh Mahmoudi, Centennial College, Student of International Trade Award, recognized for her excellent knowledge of international trade and for creative problem solving.


    Kudos to all the nominees for their outstanding achievements:

    • Townsend Award finalists: Professor Maureen Irish, University of Windsor; Nicole Lunstead, Trade Commissioner, Global Affairs Canada; Karin Muller, Director, Trade Compliance for North America, Magna International; Christine Nakamura, VP, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Toronto Office
    • Woman Exporter Award finalists: Rhonda Barnet, President & COO, AVIT Manufacturing; Natalia Mykhaylova, Founder & CEO, WeavAir; Niru Somayajula, President & CEO, Sensor Technology Ltd.; Shelby Taylor, Founder & CEO, Chickapea
    • Student Award finalist: Ledia Dervishay, Centennial College

    A big thanks to our sponsors: the Diversity Institute/Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, EDC, and Jewels4Ever and to supporter Global Affairs Canada.


  • Tuesday, August 27, 2019 11:01 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)



    The G7 summit was taking place in Biarritz, France this year. The G7 Research Group from the University of Toronto has prepared a briefing book that covers most of the main issues that is discussed at the summit.


    The book has contributions from France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prime Ministers of Italy, Australia, among others.

    Maria Marchyshyn also contributed to the book with her insights on page 70-71. She evaluated recent trade agenda and analyzed G7 trade discussions.


    You may reach the publication for the full article and more here.

  • Monday, August 19, 2019 9:57 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)



    OWIT-Toronto, represented by Alma Farias, Past- President and Board Member, joined some of the most important business organization and industry association leaders in Ottawa this year to participate in Export Development Canada’s (EDC’s) 14th Industry Stakeholder Panel focused on trade diversification and corporate social responsibility. This annual panel is organized by EDC to discuss trade related matters. OWIT-Toronto was one of the two new participants this year.


    At the evening reception, EDC President and CEO Mairead Lavery welcomed guests, including Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, the Honourable Mary Ng. The Minister noted that a small percentage of Canadian SMEs export, with the majority of those exports going to the US. She acknowledged that these companies need better access to capital, additional market research and information on navigating intellectual property concerns. The $1.1 billion Export Diversification Strategy and federal support for the Trade Accelerator Program are examples of how the government is responding to these concerns.


    Ms. Lavery opened the panel discussion session at EDC’s head office by welcoming participants and sharing reflections on her first 100 days in the role of President and CEO.

    Panelists also heard from two distinguished speakers: Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada, and Peter Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, EDC, who provided high-level macroeconomic and policy context for the day’s discussions. Participants then broke into groups to discuss the two themes for the day: trade diversification and responsible and sustainable business.

    OWIT-Toronto actively participated in the trade diversification discussion group. Among the challenges noted by participants:


    • The low level of awareness among their members of the resources available to help them to diversify their exports and operate responsibly
    • The need to help SMEs embrace digitization.

    As an opportunity, participants noted how value chains provide an important platform for diversification. A list of recommendations to be considered by EDC was submitted by participants at the end of the discussion. You may see the 14th EDC Industry Stakeholder Panel Executive Summary here


    OWIT- Toronto appreciated the opportunity to have visibility and a voice before EDC and important business and industry representatives that influence decision makers in the public and private sectors. This was an ideal forum to highlight the relevance of women entrepreneurs and the role women play in international trade and our commitment to educate women on the benefits of growth in trade diversification for exporters and Canada. We look forward to continuing participation in the coming years.


    OWIT-Toronto recognizes EDC’s efforts and commitment to listen and learn from business organizations and industry associations in order to support and serve more Canadian exporters. Congratulations to EDC for the excellent organization of these valuable panels and gatherings.



  • Thursday, August 08, 2019 10:49 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

    OWIT-Toronto’s trade mission to Monterrey in February was so successful that the participating Canadian businesswomen returned with leads, and some even with requests for quotes. An important outcome of the trip was the impact made by the group, which helped showcase the contribution of women in international trade, particularly in male-dominated sectors. This was highlighted by some media outlets in Mexico.

    Myrna Bittner, CEO and Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics (RWI), is one of the 11 businesswomen who participated in this mission. When she decided to pursue opportunities in Monterrey as part of the delegation, she was hoping to make business connections in Mexico, but at the time she did not know those relationships would grow and strengthen as fast as they have.


    Myrna founded RWI Synthetics, a company leading the development of Synthetic Intelligence, five years ago. Synthetics are Artificial Intelligence driven agents that learn, observe, plan and respond creatively and that can be coordinated at an exponential scale to bring other technologies and systems to life realistically. They can be applied by the health, banking, manufacturing and utilities industries to remove critical risk. They can also bring entire cities to life, including citizens and smart infrastructure, to connect, innovate, and experience even the most unpredictable disaster response and recovery scenarios.

    Not even half a year ago, Myrna met with Axtel for the first time as part of the business matching program coordinated by OWIT-Toronto. Axtel is a Mexican telecommunications company, part the ALFA group that manages a portfolio of diversified subsidiaries and operates 133 plants in 28 countries.


    After her meetings in Monterrey, Myrna left Mexico convinced that she would be returning soon. “This was one of the best organized trade missions I have ever experienced because it was all about entrepreneurs,” she says. “The mission’s spirit was to make things happen, and to connect people. I gained amazing contacts that would have taken me a long time to find and I had incredible meetings.”




    Five months later, she has returned to Monterrey, and things have progressed so positively that RWI Synthetics has been chosen to participate in ALFA’s 2019 business accelerator, called NAVE, run by Alestra, ALFA’s IT company. RWI Synthetics is one of the eight companies selected from 3,700 companies considered from around the world. Being part of this accelerator program has given Myrna access to funding, business development, and infrastructure support, as well as curated introductions to some of the more than 18,000 Alestra clients.


    In this brief period of time, Myrna has already presented to Axtel and Alestra’s executive group, the Vice Presidents, and at a client event. RWI Synthetics has recently added synthetic cities to its portfolio of capabilities, delivering the keynote at IoT World Expo in California with Itron, and simulating an earthquake in Synthetic Santa Clara. They demonstrated different ways of using Smart City data to provide 42,000 citizens with location specific relevant emergency information using utility data streams.

    In addition to her prospects, Myrna has kept in touch with other contacts she met while in Monterrey, to ensure she has a network she can reach out to, like the Trade Commissioner Service at the Canadian Consulate General in Monterrey, when she visits. Moreover, the trade mission also allowed her to build another network with fellow Canadian businesswomen. In her most recent visit, Myrna was pleasantly surprised to learn that another delegate from OWIT-Toronto’s trade mission to Monterrey, Barb Wilmer, Director of Sales at Racer Machinery International, was also in town following up on opportunities with contacts in Mexico. They were able to get together and share their experiences, which is another valuable outcome of the trip.


    “Thank you to OWIT for showing me what Monterrey is all about and how to navigate the landscape, and for curating such amazing meeting,” says Myrna. The best part is that she is not the only one making great strides as a result of this trade mission. OWIT-Toronto is proud to have contributed to these successes and committed to continuing to encourage trade diversification among Canadian businesswomen.


  • Monday, July 22, 2019 10:33 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)



    Just recently (May 27 and 28), I had the great pleasure of sitting down with a group of national business and industry associations for one of my most important meetings of the year—our annual Industry Stakeholder Panel.


    Add to that our special guests, the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion—the Honourable Mary Ng, and Canada’s Chief Trade Commissioner, Ailish Campbell, and you can imagine that we had a really great conversation. Everyone around the table shared a true passion for Canadian trade and investment.


    EDC has been holding stakeholder panels for 14 years, but this was my inaugural event as President and CEO, so I asked that participants focus on two key topics for the day—trade diversification, and corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR).


    The first, trade diversification, reflects the federal government’s priority to grow Canadian trade. It’s also, of course, been a longstanding objective of our own.


    The second topic, sustainable and responsible business, is equally important. As I reminded the panel in my opening remarks: “CSR is not a nice-to-have for EDC. Nor is it something that happens alongside of our business. It is our business.”


    On both of these topics, our stakeholders provided tremendous insight into what was top-of-mind for their associations, what they are doing to promote trade diversification, address corporate sustainability and responsibility, and, of course, they had lots to say about how EDC can help their membership.


    Here is just a snapshot of what was shared around the table:

    There is a strong desire for a better flow of information between EDC, the government and the associations’ membership. In spite of gatherings like this one, there’s not enough dialogue. We can do better—and we will.


    Industry associations know about EDC’s tremendous ground-level support, but not enough Canadian companies do. They want to help their member companies understand the role of EDC (and the Trade Commissioners and all other government programs and services available to Canadian exporters).


    There was great advice about making CSR more real by using everyday language to make it more meaningful for businesses. A fabulous idea.


    Industry stakeholders are looking for more help in the realm of digital technology and in particular, how can we improve Canadian skills and adapt to new technologies to ensure that companies find more innovative ways to grow.


    Finally, there was a lot of talk about “bragging and branding.” There’s a real desire for us to be bolder in foreign markets. Our stakeholders want EDC and the Government of Canada to provide more support in promoting what Canadian companies (big and small) have to offer abroad. I promise you, I heard this one loud and clear.


    As you can see, there’s no shortage of ideas and great thinking among EDC’s incredible business and industry stakeholders.


    Now it’s our turn. We’ll be taking this dialogue to the next level, not just continuing the conversation (as important as that is) but moving on these ideas. Stronger, clearer messaging on CSR? We can do that. More thinking on digital technology? Of course. Raising awareness of EDC among Canadian companies? You bet!


    Waving the Canadian flag more than ever around the world? Just watch us!

    I’ve only been on the job four months, but I can tell you that I am only getting more excited about how EDC can be a real force, delivering for our industry stakeholders, of course, but mostly for the thousands of Canadian companies we can help to go, grow and succeed internationally.


    When I took on my role, I committed to champion Canadian exporters—big and small—and raise our collective visibility. These conversations highlight how important that is. Let’s get started!


    Mairead Lavery

    President and Chief Executive Officer

    Export Development Canada


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