OWIT-Toronto Participated in EDC Industry Stakeholder Panel

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.

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