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  • Monday, May 13, 2019 5:34 PM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)


    Export Development Canada (EDC) recently introduced a new $50-million Women in Trade Investments Program to provide equity capital specifically designed to help Canadian women entrepreneurs. EDC will work with women-owned and -led businesses that are strong candidates for significant export growth. The support will come in the form of equity capital through both direct investment and investment in Canadian venture capital funds that demonstrate a commitment to gender diversity on both sides of the entrepreneur/investor table.


    “The market clearly has a gap in terms of women accessing capital at the critical commercialization stage, and we want to do more to address this,” said Jennifer Cooke, EDC’s Corporate Lead for Women in Trade. “For example, we know women entrepreneurs are more likely to access capital when there are women investors on the other side of the table, so we’re seeking fund partners who are also committed to improving gender diversity within their own senior management.”


    For more information, visit EDC’s Women in Trade page.

  • Monday, May 13, 2019 5:29 PM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)



    OWIT-Toronto participated in a kick-off event in April for the partners and supporters of the Women Entrepreneur Knowledge Hub (WEKH), led by the Diversity Institute, a “think and do” tank, along with the Ted Rogers School of Management and Brookfield Institute at Ryerson University.  The goal of this community of practice which, to date, is coordinated through 9 regional hubs with over 75 partners and 100,000 women entrepreneurs is to provide a platform and portal to collect and share best practices to create an inclusive innovation ecosystem.  WEKH is part of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy which aims to double the number of women entrepreneurs by 2025 and to support export growth and scaling up.


    “We want to challenge the classic definitions and stereotypes of entrepreneurship and drive real change, not just have lofty goals,” said Wendy Cukier, Director of WEKH, noting that entrepreneurship is typically measured through a male lens, with a tech focus, whereas most women are in the services sector and tend to have smaller businesses.   “Having 1,000 companies create one job each or one company creating 1,000 jobs are equal in contributing to GDP. ”  

    Specifically, WEKH will:

    • Measure and assess the progress of women entrepreneurship in Canada to determine what works and what doesn’t
    • Collect, analyze and disseminate information and advance research
    • Support and share best practices and knowledge.

    In breakout sessions, participants provided this feedback:

    • Appreciate the value of good stories in addition to data when measuring entrepreneurship
    • Ensure stories and research are inclusive and represent diversity, and do not just profile the super entrepreneur
    • Help support women’s organizations so they can support women in scaling up their businesses

    WEKH’s advanced technology platform to link women entrepreneurs and their organizations to resources and best practices will be powered by Magnet which currently links talent to help grow businesses and also is home to the Magnet Export Portal.


  • Monday, April 22, 2019 1:21 PM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

    THE ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE APPLAUDS RECIPIENTS OF ITS ANNUAL AWARDS FOR 2019



    WASHINGTON, DC – The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual awards. Presented at OWIT’s annual meeting in Washington, DC, the awards recognize outstanding contributions to the organization and showcase how the winners leverage their passion and dedication to advance women in international trade and business.


    “The 2019 award recipients are all outstanding contributors to OWIT and the broader global trade and business community,” says OWIT International President, Jennifer Diaz, “We celebrate the accomplishments of our annual award winners. They are stellar examples of what makes OWIT such an extraordinary global organization.”



    2019 Woman of the Year – Susan Baka, President, Bay Communications & Marketing Inc., and VP International, OWIT–Toronto, Ontario, Canada




    Susan Baka’s passion for trade is deep and palpable. An energetic advocate for women exporters and for OWIT, she is a prolific writer and global speaker on trade, women’s entrepreneurship and diversity. She has represented OWIT on panels at the World Trade Organization and in free trade stakeholder consultations. Susan is a founder of the first Canadian chapter of OWIT – in Toronto – and has served on the international board for almost 20 years. As a start-up expert, she has spearheaded countless communication initiatives as well as trade missions to Mexico, Australia and the US, and has mentored the start-up of chapters in other countries. In her own business, Susan works with financial institutions, governments and organizations to help companies go global. She served on the Canadian Minister of International Trade’s SME Advisory Board from 2008–11 and, most recently, participated in the Canadian government consultations on the NAFTA renegotiation. “Whether mentoring other chapters, grooming young women to take on leadership roles in OWIT or speaking passionately to elevate the image of OWIT at local, national and international events, Susan is a strong role model,” says OWIT–Toronto advisory board member Gail Morris. “She nurtures her contacts in many countries, always promotes OWIT during the course of her own work, and feels strongly about showcasing other role models to inspire women to pursue international trade and business.”



    2019 OWIT Chapter Member of the Year – Deborah “Debbie” Fallucca, CPA, Treasurer, TBOWIT (Tampa Bay, Florida, US)



    A principal and CPA with the Tampa firm, Gregory, Sharer & Stuart, Debbie Fallucca is entering her third year as TBOWIT’s Treasurer. During this time, she has not only adm

    irably accomplished this role, but contributes in myriad ways to the chapter. No task is too big or too small as she helps with all that is asked. She makes connections at every networking event the chapter hosts, and has even hosted her own TBOWIT events and promoted TBOWIT at external events. “Debbie is truly passionate about the mission of TBOWIT and OW

    IT–International,” says TBOWIT’s President C

    hristyna Doege. “She is a pillar and brings her extensive expertise as a CPA to our organization and a level of seriousness and professionalism from which we all benefit. Quick to compliment and support, we would be the poorer if we did not have Debbie on our team! She makes it all look easy!”




    2019 OWIT Chapter of the Year – OWIT–Nairobi, Kenya




    OWIT–Nairobi is committed to raising the awareness and advancement of significant trade-related issues. It conducts trade missions that serve as a platform to inform different stakeholders about OWIT and its mission. In 2018, OWIT–Nairobi organized a trade mission to Rwanda in partnership with the Embassy of Rwanda that saw a number of entrepreneurs do business with that country. In addition, it proudly hosted the 18th Annual OWIT Conference, bringing together different trade experts, entrepreneurs and corporates for a three-day, highly-successful event which helped build partnerships with numerous stakeholders. It illustrates its leadership as a chapter by mentoring other OWIT chapters and sharing organizational management experience, processes and procedures.


    OWIT–Nairobi is recognized locally as a leader on international trade issues. It enhances professional development of its members through mentoring, sponsoring programs and activities to support the development of personal and professional skills and establishing educational programs, conferences, and other activities to promote international trade employment. “OWIT Nairobi is passionate about empowering women to transform communities through global trade and this award is an affirmation of the work that we are currently doing on the continent,” says its President, Mucha Mlingo, “Thank you to OWIT–International for recognizing the work that went into hosting the 2018 conference, OWIT’s first international conference outside of North America.”


    _______________________________________________________________



    CALL FOR PAPERS: MAY 29 – 30, 2019.

    NAIROBI, KENYA INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE PARTICIPATION AND EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN TRADE



    TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth (UoP) and the Centre for International Trade and Investment Law – India invite researchers and policy practitioners to participate in a research and policy symposium through submission of innovative and high-quality applied research and policy papers that explore the effective participation and empowerment of women in trade for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.


    The submitted papers can be applied or conceptual. While conceptual papers are encouraged to be of direct policy relevance; applied papers must contain empirically tested approaches. Both papers should include examples and experiences, particularly in Africa (papers with practical examples from other parts of the World are also welcome), of the different trade facilitation measures and their associated benefits, opportunities and challenges for effective participation and empowerment of women in trade.


    The organizing committee will accept papers from the following thematic topics that relate to participation and empowerment of women in trade:


    1. Legal and institutional barriers

    2. Inclusion and exclusion in global markets

    3. Trade policy advocacy

    4. ICT for trade

    5. Data and measurement of participation and empowerment of women in trade

    6. Socio-cultural enablers and limiters, climate change

    7. Regional and continental economic integration.


    Of interest too will be papers that focus on a south-south comparative analysis on these topics.


    Submit your complete paper to siat@trademarkea.com by April 30th, 2019.


    Visit www.trademarkea.com for more details on thematic topics, and symposium registration and logistics.


    Limited logistics sponsorship shall be made available to facilitate presentation of selected papers at the conference.

    _______________________________________________________________



    OWIT-DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PARTICIPATED IN THE 2ND EDITION OF THE WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS AND ENTREPRENEURS 2019


    OWIT–Dominican Republic participated in the second edition of Mujeres Empresarias y Emprendedoras on March 27th, 2019 by Emprende SDQ. The conference, “Dominican Republic in International Trade”, by Mabel Báez, president of OWIT–DR, was a great success, with the attendance of more than 150 people, including women entrepreneurs and influencers from different sectors. Support came from several recognized companies in the country.

    _______________________________________________________________



    BUSINESS WOMEN’S TRADE MISSION TO MONTERREY, MEXICO IS A HUGE SUCCESS





    TORONTO, ON – A group of 11 Canadian business women representing multiple industries who participated in a trade mission to Monterrey, Mexico this month returned to Canada with some immediate business and leads. Spearheaded by the Toronto chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT–Toronto), the mission provided opportunities for female business owners and professionals to export and expand globally, as well as to showcase the contribution of women in international trade, in historically male-dominated industry sectors, in both Mexico and Canada.


    “This was one of the best organized trade missions I have ever experienced because it was all about entrepreneurs,” said Myrna Bittner, CEO and Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, “This mission’s spirit was to make things happen, to connect people and to progress things. It was not just political or diplomatic. I gained amazing contacts that would have taken me a long time to find and I had incredible meetings. I might go back to Mexico next month.”


    Participants’ sectors included auto-manufacturing, IT, education, transportation, legal, international trade services and government. Coordinated by OWIT–Toronto Co-President Alma Farias, the initiative was facilitated by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service from Monterrey’s Canadian Consulate, in cooperation with the OWIT–Monterrey Chapter, the Ministry of Economy and Labour of the State of Nuevo Leon, and the Cluster TIC Nuevo Leon.


    “The trade mission led to a better understanding of the business potential for Canadian companies and has already resulted in business for some,” says Farias. “It also inspired local amazing women entrepreneurs who are now planning a potential Mexican women trade mission to Toronto next year. I am so proud that OWIT–Toronto has fostered a two-way inclusive trade deal with Mexico in this special year when both countries celebrate 75 years of bilateral relations. And it could not have happened without the collaboration of our Canadian and Mexican partners.”

    _______________________________________________________________



    FROM THE CORAL GABLES MAGAZINE MARCH 2019 ISSUE

    Carolina Rendeiro: Chief Marketing and

    Development Officer, Connect2Global




    Carolina Rendeiro, OWIT South Florida VP, has been involved in workplace innovation, international trade, and Coral Gables for more than three decades. Most recently she was president of the World Strategic Forum (2016 – 2018) and VP of International Development for eMerge Americas (2013 – 2016). She previously founded the first co-working space and incubator program in Coral Gables, and was president of the Global Workspace Association. She sits on the boards of BB&T, Sister Cities International, the Coral Gables Economic Development Department, and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce (she was chairman 2007 – 2008). Rendeiro is also executive director of Sister Cities of Florida, the incoming president of the Miami Chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade, and lives in downtown Coral Gables.



    Latest Achievement


    Rendeiro recently returned from her native Portugal, where she is working to establish a sister city for Coral Gables, and to encourage investment in both directions. She is also consulting on technology for schools and government services in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, and working to attract a fashion institute from London.



    What She Says


    “People are so close to what we have here, that they don’t actually understand what we have here,” says Rendeiro. “The EU uses us as a launch point for businesses [in the US and Latin America] because we have the diversity, the melting pot of cultures. We also have the people with knowledge that have been in this market a very long time and know how to interconnect it.”


    Rendeiro wants to see more US investment in Europe because it will come back to us. “This is how we differ [from Europeans]. We want everything as direct investments into us. The EU looks at it as a two-way street that will benefit us all in the long run.


    Click here to read the article in the March 2019 issue of the Coral Gables Magazine

    _______________________________________________________________



    CHAT RECAP: WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS SHARE THEIR SECRETS OF SUCCESS






    Starting or growing your own business is tough. For women, there are even more challenges that come into play. The numbers tell the story about the challenges women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses face.


    1. Approximately 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada are majority women-owned.

    2. Only 10% of high-growth firms are owned by women.

    3. Globally, women are less likely to be entrepreneurs and face more disadvantages starting businesses: In 40% of economies, women’s early stage entrepreneurial activity is half or less than half of that of men’s.


    And yet, there is a growing understanding that when women succeed, everyone succeeds. It’s estimated that promoting gender equality could add $150 billion to Canada’s GDP.


    Now is a good time to focus on supporting the advancement of women in business. With a growing understanding across the globe that a balanced world is a better world, International Women’s Day 2019 generated new heights of conversation, inspiration and celebration. We decided to join the conversation and asked ourselves, how do we advance the success of women-led business and women’s entrepreneurship?

    _______________________________________________________________



    NCBFAA NEEDS SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS LIKE YOU!





    The NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI) invites all OWIT members to consider authoring an export-focused case study for their Certified Export Specialists! Each year, NEI designees need to earn 20 continuing education credits, and to assist them the NEI offers four free online case studies so that designees can meet their credit requirement without cost or travel. The case studies are based on pertinent industry topics – past topics include export compliance, ZTE, and license determinations.


    Authoring a case study is not only a great way to flex your brain muscles and share your expertise, but it is a great way to promote yourself to thousands of students! The case study will be branded with your name and company logo (if applicable), as well as link to your website which will be seen by any NEI student who completes the case study.


    While you can author the content for a case study from scratch, you can also opt to base it off a regulation or trade document. We then need 15-20 questions and an answer key with citations. That’s it! The NEI provides templates and will format and edit the case study before loading it into the system.


    If you are interested and would like an example or more information, please contact NEI Director Cecilia Ferrara at nei@ncbfaa.org.

  • Friday, March 29, 2019 11:22 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)


    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual awards.   Presented at OWIT International's annual meeting in Washington, DC, in March, the awards recognize outstanding contributions to the organization and showcase how the winners leverage their passion and dedication to advance women in international trade and business.  


    “The 2019 award recipients are all outstanding contributors to OWIT and the broader global trade and business community,” says OWIT International President Jennifer Diaz.  “We celebrate the accomplishments of our annual award winners.  They are stellar examples of what makes OWIT such an extraordinary global organization.”



    2019 Woman of the Year – Susan Baka, President, Bay Communications & Marketing Inc., and VP International, OWIT-Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


    Susan Baka’s passion for trade is deep and palpable. An energetic advocate for women exporters and for OWIT, she is a prolific writer and global speaker on trade, women’s entrepreneurship and diversity who has represented OWIT on panels at the World Trade Organization and in free trade stakeholder consultations. Susan is a founder of the first Canadian chapter of OWIT – in Toronto - and has served on the international board for almost 20 years.  As a start-up expert, she has spearheaded countless communication initiatives as well as trade missions to Mexico, Australia and the U.S., and has mentored the start-up of chapters in other countries.


    In her own business, Susan works with financial institutions, governments and organizations to help companies go global. She served on the Canadian Minister of International Trade’s SME Advisory Board from 2008-11 and, most recently, participated in the Canadian government consultations on the NAFTA renegotiation. “Whether mentoring other chapters, grooming young women to take on leadership roles in OWIT, or speaking passionately to elevate the image of OWIT at local, national and international events, Susan is a strong role model,” says OWIT-Toronto advisory board member Gail Morris.  “She nurtures her contacts in many countries, always promotes OWIT during the course of her own work, and feels strongly about showcasing other role models to inspire women to pursue international trade and business.”



    2019 OWIT Chapter Member of the Year Deborah “Debbie” Fallucca, CPA, Treasurer, TBOWIT (Tampa Bay, Florida, US)


    A Principal and CPA with the Tampa firm Gregory, Sharer & Stuart, Debbie Fallucca is entering her third year as TBOWIT’s Treasurer. During this time, she has not only admirably accomplished this role, but contributes in myriad ways to the chapter. No task is too big or too small as she helps with all that is asked. She makes connections at every networking event the chapter hosts, and has even hosted her own TBOWIT events and promoted TBOWIT at external events. “Debbie is truly passionate about the mission of TBOWIT and OWIT International,” says TBOWIT’s President Christyna Doege. “She is a pillar of this organization who brings her extensive expertise as a CPA to our organization and a level of seriousness and professionalism from which we all benefit. Quick to compliment and support, we would be the poorer if we did not have Debbie on our team!  She makes it all look easy!”



    2019 OWIT Chapter of the Year – OWIT-Nairobi, Kenya


    OWIT-Nairobi is committed to raising awareness and advancement of significant trade-related issues. It conducts trade missions that serve as a platform to inform different stakeholders about OWIT and its mission. In 2018, OWIT-Nairobi organized a trade mission to Rwanda in partnership with the Embassy of Rwanda that saw a number of entrepreneurs do business with that country. In addition, it proudly hosted the 18th Annual OWIT Conference, bringing together different trade experts, entrepreneurs and corporates for a three-day, highly-successful event which helped build partnerships with numerous stakeholders. It illustrates its leadership as a chapter by mentoring other OWIT chapters and sharing organizational management experience, processes, and procedures.


    OWIT Nairobi is recognized locally as a leader on international trade issues. It enhances professional development of its members through mentoring, sponsoring programs and activities to support the development of personal and professional skills and establishing educational programs, conferences, and other activities to promote international trade employment. “OWIT Nairobi is passionate about empowering women to transform communities through global trade and this award is an affirmation of the work that we are currently doing on the continent,” says Mucha Mlingo, President. “Thank you to OWIT International for recognising the work that went into hosting the 2018 conference, OWIT’s first international conference outside of North America.”


  • Tuesday, March 12, 2019 10:23 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

    The Canada Vietnam Trade Council hosted a "CPTPP: Vietnam" event on March 11, 2019 at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre, where OWIT board member Julie Nguyen had the opportunity to have a fireside chat with The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, on various topics from access to capital for Canadian SMEs to government support for underrepresented small business owners such as women, Indigenous people, and youth. Speakers included representatives from Global Affairs Canada; Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; Export Development Canada (EDC); Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC); and Commercial Counsellor, Trade Office, Embassy of Vietnam in Canada.


    The minister held that the Vietnam-Canada partnership is strong, expressing her hope to connect businesses of the two sides to promote two-way trade. She said the Canadian side can fund its enterprises’ activities to research the market and join trade fairs to seek business opportunities in Vietnam. Statistics showed that in 2018, Canada exported 1.02 billion CAD worth of goods to Vietnam, while importing 5.38 billion CAD worth of commodities from the country.


    Jay Allen, deputy head of CPTPP negotiation team of Canada, highlighted the strengths of the Vietnamese market, including the strategic position in Southeast Asia, young population, and high GDP growth of more than 6 percent annually since 2014. Allen said cooperation opportunities between the two countries are abundant in agriculture, aquatic farming, infrastructure, green technology and ICT.


    Meanwhile, Dr. Nguyen Dai Trang, Director of the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council, said since the CPTPP was ratified, Canadian firms have paid greater attention to Vietnam. She revealed that the council will introduce the Vietnamese market to Canadian businesses through the organisation of and participation in events, while also helping delegations study the Vietnamese market.










  • Thursday, February 21, 2019 11:35 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

    Business Women’s Trade Mission to Monterrey, Mexico,

    Huge Success



    TORONTO, ON – A group of 11 Canadian business women representing multiple industries who participated in a trade mission to Monterrey, Mexico, this month returned to Canada with some immediate business and leads.  Spearheaded by the Toronto chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT-Toronto), the mission provided opportunities for female business owners and professionals to export and expand globally, as well as to showcase the contribution of women in international trade, in historically male-dominated industry sectors, in both Mexico and Canada.

    “This was one of the best organized trade missions I have ever experienced because it was all about entrepreneurs,” said Myrna Bittner, CEO and Founder, RUNWITHIT Synthetics.  “This mission’s spirit was to make things happen, to connect people, to progress things, and was not just political or diplomatic.  I gained amazing contacts that would have taken me a long time to find and I had incredible meetings. I might go back to Mexico next month.”


    Participants’ sectors included auto-manufacturing, IT, education, transportation, legal, international trade services and government. Coordinated by OWIT- Toronto Co-President Alma Farias, the initiative was facilitated by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service from Monterrey’s Canadian Consulate, in cooperation with the OWIT- Monterrey Chapter, the Ministry of Economy and Labour of the State of Nuevo Leon, and the Cluster TIC Nuevo Leon .


    “The trade mission led to a better understanding of the business potential for Canadian companies and has already resulted in business for some,” says Farias.  “It also inspired local amazing women entrepreneurs who now are planning a potential Mexican women trade mission to Toronto next year.  I am so proud that OWIT-Toronto has fostered a two-way inclusive trade deal with Mexico in this special year when both countries celebrate 75 years of bilateral relations.  And it could not have happened without the collaboration of our Canadian and Mexican partners.”


    Activities kicked off with a networking breakfast hosted by OWIT- Monterrey with guest speaker Rhonda Barnet, Immediate Past- Chair of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), and the first female Chair in the CME’s history. “We were able to showcase what Canada is doing to increase female participation in manufacturing through the excellent presentation done by Rhonda on the CME- program  #WE CanDoIt,” notes Farias.


    Individual business-to-business meetings were held with potential customers, suppliers and business partners.  Delegates also participated in conferences and meetings with local industry clusters, government and educational organizations, tours of various research and development facilities, and a visit to the Expo Manufactura trade show.  An evening reception held later in the week was hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce-Monterrey and Canadian Consulate with more than 100 local business people in attendance.

    “This trade mission was beyond everyone’s expectations and I’m convinced good things will come from it, “said Lyse Moreau, President and CEO, International Sew Right Co, a manufacturer of safety clothing. “I have already landed an order from the last meeting I had. I found everyone I met very proactive, and the trade show we attended was fantastic, with surprisingly good response.”


    The trade mission was the first initiative after an MOU was signed by the OWIT-Toronto and OWIT-Monterrey chapters in March, 2017 in the presence of the Canadian Minister of International Trade and the Consul General of Canada in Monterrey. Supporters of the trade mission included EDC, Global Affairs Canada, Bennett Jones and the Ontario government.


    -30-



    About OWIT

    OWIT-Toronto (The Organization of Women in International Trade-Toronto) (www.owit-toronto.ca) is part of an international non-profit professional organization with chapters around the world (www.owit.org), dedicated to advancing global trade opportunities for women. 


     

  • Friday, February 01, 2019 4:56 PM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

    Media Contact:

    Alma Farias

    416.458.6872

    alma.farias@tradepartners.ca www.owit-toronto.ca


    EXCLUSIVE BUSINESS WOMEN’S TRADE MISSION

    HEADS TO MEXICO


    TORONTO, ON - Ten Canadian businesswomen from manufacturing, IT, service, education and government sectors will be travelling to Monterrey, Mexico for a week-long, unique trade mission the first week of February to explore business opportunities. Spearheaded by the Organization of Women in International Trade-Toronto (OWIT-Toronto), the mission is designed to encourage female business owners, professionals, executives and service providers to export and expand globally. It also seeks to showcase the contribution of women in international trade and women in some male-dominated sectors.


    “After the successful conclusion of the NAFTA negotiation process and a Canada-US-Mexico agreement was reached last year, this is a timely initiative that will assist early stage and growth-oriented manufacturing and service provider companies in getting an inside perspective on supply chain opportunities,” says Alma Farias, Co-President of OWIT-Toronto, who is leading the mission for OWIT-Toronto.


    Participants will receive a full program of meetings with representatives of clusters, industry executives and government officials who are instrumental in the business community, in addition to customized one-on-one meetings with prospective customers and business partners, a visit to the Expo Manufactura trade show, and a number of quality networking events. Rhonda Barnet, Immediate Past Chair of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), and the first female Chair in the CME’s history, will be a guest speaker.


    The trade mission is the culmination of a collaboration agreement signed between the OWIT-Toronto and OWIT-Monterrey chapters in March 2017 in the presence of then Minister of International Trade of Canada, Francois-Philippe Champagne and the Consul General of Canada in Monterrey at the time, Bez Babakhani. “OWIT is pleased to be leading the mission because both chapters signed this agreement with a determination to follow with actions and results,” adds Farias.


    Supporters of the trade mission include Export Development Canada, Global Affairs Canada, Bennett Jones and the Ontario government.


    -30-


    About OWIT

    OWIT-Toronto (The Organization of Women in International Trade-Toronto) (www.owit-toronto.ca) is part of an international non-profit professional organization with chapters around the world (www.owit.org), dedicated to advancing global trade opportunities for women.


  • Monday, June 18, 2018 12:01 PM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

     


    OWIT-Toronto is increasingly being invited to give input on free trade agreements. Most recently, in May, some members participated in a joint Global Affairs Canada and OWIT Roundtable for Women Entrepreneurs with Canada’s Ambassadors to Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico on opportunities in the Pacific Alliance. Moderated by OWIT-Toronto President Anita Agrawal, the roundtable featured overviews from Patricia Peña (Ambassador of Canada to Chile), Marcel Lebleu (Ambassador of Canada to Colombia), Gwyn Kutz (Ambassador of Canada to Peru and Bolivia) and Pierre Alarie (Ambassador of Canada to Mexico).



    The Pacific Alliance is a regional initiative created in 2011 by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru that seeks the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. As one of the first countries invited to become an Associated State of the Pacific Alliance, Canada is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with Alliance members as a bloc. Canada has comprehensive free trade agreements with all four Pacific Alliance members individually.


    The women-owned business attendees at the roundtable gave their input on what is needed to facilitate trade with the Pacific Alliance countries and posed specific questions about opportunities and challenges.



  • Monday, June 18, 2018 11:57 AM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

    OWIT-Toronto  recently partnered with the Belgian Canadian Business Chamber (BCBC) for a joint event on CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Our President, Anita Agrawal, was among four panelists who, together, gave an excellent overview of CETA.  Owner of Best Bargains Jewellery and an exporter to over 20 countries, including those in Europe, Anita provided practical tips on how to sell abroad. These include:  hire a student to help do your research, access Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service for additional help, participate in trade missions,  attend chamber of commerce meetings to pick up tips, meet new contacts and find out about available government support, and visit the EU to start building relationships.



     

    The session was moderated by Christian Frayssignes, VP,  BCBC. Other panelists covered the benefits for Canadian companies brought in by CETA, which is a very progressive agreement (Andrew Defor, VP, Canadian International Council, TO Branch),  the government procurement chapter in CETA (Pasquale  Madonna, Sr Consultant, Trade & Customs, KPMG), the support available to Ontario exporters from the government (Romi Jaszczynski , Sr Export Advisor, Ontario Ministry of International Trade), and an overview of the Belgian market (Andre van der Heyden, VP & COO, BCBC).


    This was an information-packed event.  Don’t miss out on future ones!


  • Monday, January 22, 2018 5:44 PM | OWIT-Toronto (Administrator)

    TORONTO, ON – The Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) welcomes the recent announcement of two new initiatives to strengthen Canada’s approach to responsible business conduct for Canadian companies doing business and operating abroad, which aim to set a new global standard for Corporate Social Responsibility.  



    The first is the creation of an independent Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), the first of its kind in the world. The CORE will be mandated to investigate allegations of human rights abuses linked to Canadian corporate activity abroad. The CORE will seek to assist wherever possible in collaboratively resolving disputes or conflicts between impacted communities and Canadian companies. It will be empowered to independently investigate, report, recommend remedy and monitor its implementation. The CORE’s scope will be multi-sectoral, initially focusing on the mining, oil and gas, and garment sectors, with the expectation to expand to other business sectors within a year of the Ombudsperson taking office. The second is the creation of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Body to advise the Government and the CORE on responsible business conduct abroad.



    “Canada’s leadership in strengthening responsible business conduct abroad reflects the values supported by Canada’s progressive trade agenda where all parties should benefit from economic development, and contributes to Canada’s reputation as an international business partner of choice,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, who made the announcement.



    “As supporters of Canada’s progressive trade agenda, OWIT is pleased to see Canada taking this leadership role in promoting responsible business conduct abroad,” says Susan Baka, VP-International, OWIT-Toronto.  “We have been providing input through various government channels on making trade more inclusive for more people and welcome these initiatives that further broaden Canada’s approach to inclusive trade and emphasize respect for human rights worldwide.”



    “The fact that this was worked on with different stakeholders including the Canadian Labour Congress is very positive, showing great support for this and demonstrating where the government is going on trade,” adds Tamaika Jumelle, VP, OWIT-Ottawa, who represented OWIT at the announcement in Ottawa, along with VP Ainsley Butler. “By setting new standards, this positions Canada to lead on progressive trade issues and also benefits societies and countries where Canadians do business.


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