In an effort to bolster international business between the countries, OWIT’s Toronto and Monterrey chapters signed a letter of intent pledging to collaborate on seminars and trade missions. This comes at a pivotal time for international trade relations, as global protectionist sentiment is on the rise and U.S.-promised revisions to NAFTA are inevitable.
At the March 17 signing ceremony in Monterrey, the OWIT chapters pledged to:
- Undertake dialogue to identify industry sectors with good potential for mutual international business;
- Explore promotional activities; and
- Exchange information among members to boost relationship-building and networking
The joint declaration of collaboration was signed by Alma Farias, OWIT-Toronto director and board member, and Carolina Leal Montemayor, OWIT-Monterrey chapter president. Following the ceremony, OWIT-Monterrey, CAINTRA (a Mexican association in the commercial, manufacturing and service sectors), and the Government of the State of Nuevo Representatives indicated they would play a role in organizing an OWIT Trade Mission to Monterrey.
“Nuevo Leon is the most industrial, commercial and prosperous state in Mexico after Mexico City,” Farias said.The three organizations agreed to provide “on-the-ground support and business-to-business contacts to Canadian delegates looking for distributors, JV partners or suppliers,” Farias said. She added the Canadian Consulate in Monterrey also offered the facilities at the consulate for video conferences with OWIT members on market-entry best practices.
Canadian Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, and Consul General of Canada in Monterrey, Bez Babakhani, also attended the event last month. While on a tour in Mexico, Minister Champagne chaired a roundtable organized by Global Affairs Canada on behalf of OWIT and women entrepreneurs.
The roundtable was an “excellent forum” for local business-owners to share their stories and ideas encouraging women’s participation and inclusion in business, Farias noted. She highlighted the importance of the service sector in which women have a strong presence, and noted the growth of this sector in Canada and further opportunities for collaboration.