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BCCTC Year in Review

We appreciate and thank you for joining us in 2023, kindly see below a summary of what the year was for us and our members. Looking forward to seeing you again soon and creating a fabulous 2024 of more UK & Canada business!


Index

UK & Canada


Early in the year we hosted the event “Ontario & the UK - Priorities & Opportunities” where we heard from The Hon. Victor Fedeli, MPP, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; and received a comprehensive overview of Ontario's business opportunities for British companies, particularly in the areas of Cleantech, Aerospace and Fintech.


In March, the BCCTC was delighted to support Invest Northern Ireland in welcoming the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Dublin Chamber, at the British Consul General’s Residence in Toronto to showcase the opportunities for trade between Canada and the island of Ireland.  This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, and with the ink still not dry on the Windsor Framework, this was a great opportunity to remind people of the opportunities and aspirations of these vibrant economies. 


More details about the trip and its objectives can be found here.

Fun fact: the UK Consul General’s Residence is a Heritage Building having originally been the home of John James McLaughlin, inventor of Canada Dry Ginger Ale.  Prior to inventing Canada Dry, McLaughlin sold a soda called “Belfast Ginger Ale”, a bottle of which was found on the site during renovations in 2016.

Then at the end of the month, Invest Northern Ireland hosted the Minister of State for Northern Ireland Mr. Steve Baker & six Northern Ireland technology companies providing software and solutions in Governance, Risk, and Compliance, ESG, Data Analytics, Digital Transformation, and Artificial Intelligence for a networking cocktail reception at the Park Hyatt.


We joined the UK Consulate in Empowering Women in Ontario Food & Beverage - “If you have women and diversity on your team you have a higher rate of success” said Hon. Charmaine A. Williams, Associate Minister of Women's Social and Economic Opportunity. Co-hosted by Diageo, LCBO, Grain Farmers of Ontario and the British Consulate-General Toronto we heard from esteemed speakers about how the industry can help in the advancement of women: having an open dialogue is key.




On Nov 14 we launched Tech Canada Advocates in Toronto with our dear friend the Honourable Victor Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Fouzia Younis, OBE, British Consul-General, Toronto.


From government priorities to regulatory compliance, our panel discussed developments in the tech sectors in both Ontario and the UK, along with the successful partnerships facilitated through B2BeeMatch and the BCCTC.


Tech Canada Advocates is led by BCCTC former VP, and founder of B2BeeMatchKarima-Catherine Goundiam, TCA's mission is to bring together decision makers and thought leaders to elevate the tech industry at home and abroad.


Our sincerest thanks to Marcus Hinkley, Hunter Fox (who updated attendees on recent developments in UK-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiations - link) and Thomas Timmins from Gowling WLG and our corporate sponsors and partners, in making this event a success.



Canada UK Colloquium 


Also in November we contributed to the Canada UK Colloquium at the Munk School at the University of Toronto.  Since 1971, the Canada-UK Colloquium (CUKC) has brought together leading politicians, officials, academics, businesspeople, scientists, practitioners, students and members of the media from both countries to discuss pressing public policy challenges, and to make recommendations to government. The CUKC is one of the longest-standing bilateral forums of its kind, actively supported by the Prime Ministers’ Offices and foreign ministries of both countries.  As soon as the report from this year’s Colloquium is published we will share it with our Members.


Canada, UK, Europe, Latin America


We provided additional business networking opportunities to our members co-hosting 4 sold out European Networking Events with 5 European Chambers of Commerce - Belgium, Finland, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Switzerland in Toronto - a total success of business networking, drinks and delicious food.


With BritCham Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and speakers from the Department for International Trade, British Embassy; Inclusive Trade, Global Affairs Canada; United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); the World Trade Organization (WTO) Gender Research Hub; Organization of Women in International Trade, UK Chapter; and International Trade Center, SheTrades.

 

Canada is one of the countries along with the UK and Chile that are positioned as leaders in trade & gender; and we were fortunate to have a representative from Inclusive Trade, Global Affairs Canada to shared their experience with Gender Chapters in FTAs.


On November 1st we co-hosted with the Swiss Canadian Chamber an interesting event for both Canadian/UK and Swiss Expats to learn about the intricacies of navigating personal international tax issues and estate planning; providing them with a comprehensive guidance on the Canadian residency rules for tax purposes, as well as the filing requirements for expats residing in Canada, UK, and Switzerland.




UK, Canada and CPTPP


One of the highlights of the year was definitely the signing of the UK of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).


Minister Mary Ng's participation in the signing ceremony, acknowledging the UK's accession to the CPTPP, underscores Canada's steadfast support for the United Kingdom and our shared commitment to free and fair trade principles.


The BCCTC wholeheartedly applauded the Government of Canada's spirit of amity, fortified by an extensive network of British Chambers within the CPTPP region; we resolutely reaffirm our commitment to providing unwavering assistance to British and Canadian businesses seeking to expand their presence in the region. As eloquently articulated by then UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly during his visit to Toronto in January, “Canada and the UK: we’re family.”


Click here to see statements from our fellow British Chambers in the Asia-Pacific, including BCCTC’s Board Director James Dunn.


International Women’s Day celebration (IWD)


We hosted BCCTC’s 7th IWD - one of our marquee events, in a 3-part series:

  • An IWD Reception at UK Consulate in Toronto where guests had the opportunity to network with fellow BCCTC members at the UK Consulate in Toronto as well as hear from Greg Quinn OBE, Interim British Consul General, Toronto, and Martin Buckle, VP & Treasurer of the BCCTC,

  • An online seminar with ACCA, Diageo and London Consulting Group having an engaging discussion on the challenges of ESG and how women are leading the change,

  • And BCCTC’s Woman of the Day campaign. Featuring interviews providing insights into the issues women have faced and their opinions on issues that women still face in business in 21st Century Canada.


Congratulation to Sharon Barnes-Simmonds CPA, CGA, FCCA, MBA, Chief Financial Officer at Action Against Hunger / Action contre la Faim Canada, for being this year’s BCCTC's ‘Woman of the Day’.


We'd like to thank our sponsors ACCA, Diageo and London Consulting Group, as well as the British Consulate General in Toronto, for their support on this year's IWD celebrations.




We welcomed new BCCTC Sponsor and Corporate members:


One of the 10 leading worldwide groups in transport organization and logistics, Bolloré Logistics Canada satisfies the demands of importers and exporters, be they large groups requiring complex supply-chain management solutions, or small- and medium-sized companies requiring assistance with their international consignments.


Trajectory works with purpose-driven organizations to fuel their success through holistic brand strategies, compelling stories, stakeholder engagement, experience design and powerful community-building tools.

Since 2009, Trajectory tools have been research and strategy, adaptable design systems, and smart implementation tools to sustain our clients successes for years to come.


Rootquotient is a product engineering company that specializes in developing innovative solutions for startups, scaleups and enterprises. Rootquotient’s expertise in Web, Mobile, Data, and Cloud enables them to provide custom software solutions using agile methodologies to drive efficiency and become a transformative force in the technology industry.  We were particularly happy to hear from Rootquotient, at the TCA launch, about their expansion into the UK market which was initiated this year with the support of BCCTC stakeholders.


Aird & Berlis - Fiona Brown

Aird & Berlis provides multinational and high-profile corporations, financial institutions and governmental entities with excellent, responsive and cost-efficient Canadian legal advice. “The gateway to Canada for our international clients” - Partner Fiona Brown supported more than 100 companies with their expansions into Canada last year.

Fiona is proud to have been recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, The Best Lawyers in Canada and Benchmark Canada.



Special invitations for BCCTC members


Our members were able to participate in exclusive meetings such as:


  • Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (Canada-UK TCA) 1st Civil Society Forum on Trade and Sustainable Development

  • Ontario Innovation Road Trip, prior to Collision 2023

  • A special working lunch with members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to discuss similarities and differences between Canada and the UK with special emphasis on movement of people, credentials recognition, government support, import/export challenges. BCCTC Sponsor Member Al Parsai kindly presented his book 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada” by Al Parsai: Amazon #1 Best Seller to CPA participants.

  • Canada Trade Delegation for London Tech Week in the summer

  • A fantastic Collision 2023 kick-off for our members with the Great British Tech reception hosted by the UK Consulate in Toronto, where we also welcomed representatives of the Canada-Texas Chamber of Commerce and British American Bus. Council (BABC) Texas




We also joined the British consulate on major industry events in Toronto including:


A fabulous Garden Party at the residence of our British Consul General, Fouzia Younis to celebrate the Coronation of his Majesty King Charles III and Eurovision 2023; plus the kick off of GT20 Canada, the first-ever major cricket league in North America. Among the guests were The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Ontario Ministers and representatives of the Loyal Societies in Toronto.



BCCTC Members initiatives


We supported Sponsor Members in their particular endeavours including ACCA study across the accountancy profession on talent issues impacting the workforce and Truefitt & Hill 218 years anniversary of providing gentlemen around the world with the highest caliber of grooming products to empower them to look and feel their best - from London, UK.


As well Sponsor Members CIMA’s Global Conference and social initiative promoting cricket in Ontario via OSCA - Ontario Schools Cricket Association; and Pretty in Pink, a dynamic women-led not-for-profit committee spearheading a fundraiser cricket match in Toronto to help medical crisis globally and in Sri Lanka.



Other opportunities for UK and Canada Based Businesses were shared at the beginning of the year, such as:


1. Calling UK and Canada Based Businesses!

The UK-Canada Agelech Innovation Exchange programme competition ran the first two months of 2023. Companies from the UK and Canada are invited to apply for funding to participate in an international exchange visit or for a place on a virtual support programme, supported by partners that have in-depth knowledge of the healthy ageing innovation ecosystems within each country.  More info here.


2. We joined BABN in a new and exciting partnership for 2023

The BABN partnership with B2BeeMatch, the fast-growing international business matchmaking platform. BCCTC members can benefit from this partnership with B2BeeMatch having access to its platform via the BABN website and via our co-branded landing page.


3. Portsmouth and Halifax, Nova Scotia sign to become sister cities to progress trade opportunities

On January 19 the BCCTC was very pleased to celebrate the formal signing of the Sister-Cities agreement between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Portsmouth, England.

"This agreement with Portsmouth builds on the relationships that already exist between the naval bases and universities in both cities and will enable us to explore new economic opportunities together that will generate business, jobs, and growth in both regions," Savage stated in a news release.

To end a great year - we were very happy to join the staff and stakeholders for the Toronto Consulate in their year end party as they celebrated another action-packed year of events and opportunities to develop trans-Atlantic trade.




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