The OWIT chapters in the CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC region - Ottawa, Toronto, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Mexico - and the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center Global teamed up for a collaborative online event on April 5 that attracted over 300 registrants from around the world. It was the first of a series of virtual events on the topic of recovery and resilience in the trade community that highlight the voices of women in trade. This kick-off webinar brought perspectives from the customs agencies in Canada, the US and Mexico together with three women entrepreneurs from the three countries. Watch the recorded event.
Take-aways from he Canadian panelists included:
From Carol West, CEO & President of the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers
- Collaboration and sharing were critical during the pandemic and made us all think about border security and collaboration even more.
- Supply chain challenges accelerated in Canada due to the collapse of the highway infrastructure in BC from torrential storms that caused additional costs and delays, and due to truck convoys that shut down border crossings and caused perishable goods to suffer immensely.
- CUSMA has made it simpler to use this free trade agreement.
- On the future of trade: She is hopeful but not totally positive, questioning what the recovery will look like as result of the war in Ukraine. Resilience will mean something different. Her advice: Be increasingly vigilant about cyber attacks on supply chains.
- Priorities going forward include: collaboration, with the private sector at the government table to inform decision making; commitment to standardization; commitment to communication; and commitment to knowledge and investments in training and professional development
From Suzie Yorke, Board Director & Founder, Love Good Fats
- There is a higher bar now for companies to do things the right way – to be transparent and not just pay lip service.
- Brands that are successful embrace sustainability and have a good story
- Consumers and retailers want higher purpose brands and this demand is influencing trade in a big way.
The next OWIT collaboration program will take place on April 29 4/29/22 and will highlight the voice of women in trade from Kenya, featuring the OWIT Nairobi Chapter and Kenyan women in trade. Keep an eye on. www.linkedin.com/in/witoc/ for details.