On March 25th, 2022 the BCCTC had the pleasure to co-host a fireside chat on the economic benefits of increased bilateral trade between Canada and the United Kingdom with UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP and Canadian Minister for International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng MP at World Trade Centre Toronto.
Martin Buckle, Treasurer and SVP of the BCCTC, said:
“Our countries’ historic and constitutional links are obvious and well described but we are also linked by common core values of democracy, the rule of law, security of the person and property. As the war in Ukraine reminds us, these values are not shared by everybody.
“The war has also reminded us that the wealth that underpins our security, health care, infrastructure, social services comes from trade and commerce – and, more particularly, trade and commerce with our friends, our allies.
“The Chamber is very proud of the timely work it started before Covid to facilitate the twinning of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with Portsmouth in England. These two great maritime cities are buzzing with green industries, oceanographic innovation, tech, the knowledge economy and, of course, our Royal Navies. As Canada embarks on the modernisation of its surface fleet it will find no better partner than the UK and the brilliant people who work to protect our coastal integrity. As part of this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day, once again with the support of Minister Ng, we held a panel on Women in the Defence Industry: the Defence budget is one of the biggest areas of spending for all governments so boosting women’s employment in this industry, boosting fair access to these budget dollars, will go a long way to boosting financial equity, as well as boosting our security.
“The Ministers also reminded us that women-owned business are largely kept out of international trade so we need to work at making cross-border commerce easier and more accessible if we are to see greater engagement.
“Ministers, as your teams continue their work of defining the terms of our future trading relationship, I hope they will keep in mind that the small and medium sized enterprises that form the spine of our economies are also the ones who can least afford to navigate the burdensome red tape of international trade.
“Value creation doesn’t come from filling in forms, complying with bureaucratic exigencies or withstanding delays to the supply chain from unnecessary customs inspections.
“Err on the side of friction-less trade, the easy movement of people and goods between our countries and we will be stronger, more secure and less easily held to ransom by those who oppose our values.”
“Never be shy to untap the unlimited potential of women businesses” said UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan. “Women face challenges - how do we make it easier for women led businesses to overcome these challenges? The UK is really committed to support women empowerment and we will make sure we enter new rules to include this in the new Canada-UK FTA” she added.
“The recently launched “UK Export Academy” portal, from the Department for International Trade (DIT), gives small and micro-businesses the know-how to sell to customers around the world with confidence.
“You’ll also have the chance to find out more about the support that’s available from DIT and its local trade offices, including the chance to join future trade missions and access grants and funding.”
Minister Ng celebrated the recent news from global beverage alcohol leader and BCCTC Sponsor Member Diageo that they will open a new CAD$245 million Carbon Neutral distillery to support momentum and growth ambitions for its Crown Royal Canadian Whisky brand.
Minister Ng encouraged participants to join the Trade Accelerator Program TAP - an innovative program designed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises gain knowledge and a network of contacts to unleash their export potential. Offered through the World Trade Centre Toronto’s online platform, TAP helps Canadian business leaders learn to overcome export barriers and reach new markets faster. In 2020, 56% of the participating companies reported being owned or led by underrepresented groups; an average growth of +21% on all sales was reported by TAP participants one year after completing the program; and 33% of companies started exporting, or entered a new market after participating in TAP. Supporting female entrepreneurs could add £250 billion to UK’s economy, and $150 billion to Canada’s economy: a UK-Canada deal will seek to promote opportunities for women and break down barriers.
Minister Ng pointed out that Canada is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that has all the critical minerals required to manufacture EV Batteries, making it another area of opportunity to work in collaboration with the UK.
UK Secretary Trevelyan pointed out clean growth and building a truly global Britain are 2 of her priorities. She thanked Canada for supporting the UK’s interest in joining the CPTPP - a new market opportunity for the UK.
Special thanks to the Toronto Region Board of Trade and World Trade Centre Toronto, Global Affairs Canada, the UK Consulate and the UK High Commission.