Another year has Zoomed by (if you’ll pardon the pun) and we find ourselves planning for 2022 with little certainty other than it almost certainly won’t go to plan. We want to thank all our Members for their support of the BCCTC and each other during these trying times as we strive to promote trade between our two nations.
COVID has restricted some of our service offerings to Members but the move to a virtual setting has forced a form of leveling-up for stakeholders outside our core locations. Our virtual gatherings enable uniform access unconstrained by travel budgets or the investment in days of travel time.
Thus in March, when we celebrated International Women’s Day, we were able to host Speakers from different parts of Canada and the UK without dragging them away from work and family. Thanks to support from the ACCA, Sleeman Breweries, Truefitt and Hill, TFB and Associates and Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium we covered Women in Tech; Diversity and Inclusion; and a general discussion about Women in Business, before moving on to a whisky tasting evening sponsored by Diageo.
We greeted more friends from the UK in February for a Scottish virtual trade mission networking event and again in September when we hosted a similar afternoon for the Welsh government in Canada as the culmination of their virtual trade mission.
Virtual Trade Missions were very much a theme for this year as we helped bring together the cities of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Portsmouth, England, in their efforts to strengthen ties between these great maritime cities. Presentations from the civil and military ports, universities and industry, public sector and entrepreneurs, demonstrated that municipal economies are every bit as complex as nations.
Following feedback from our summer survey, we held a meeting in September to introduce Members to the British American Business Network, a continent-wide web of trade organisations focused on promoting transatlantic commerce which all our Members can access through the BCCTC. We followed that up in November with a meeting of BABN Executive Directors led by our own ED, Idalia Obregon, who hosted the Mexican Consul General and Mark Agnew from the Canadian Chambers of Commerce as they discussed the outlook for north American trade and NAFTA 2.0
One of the biggest stories in international trade this year has been supply chain management with disruptions caused by COVID, a stranded ship in the Suez Canal, exceptional weather events among others. We were very glad therefore to be able to gain some insight on this topic in October from Robert Mitchell, President and Founder, London Consulting Group and Gene Sevilla-Sacasa, Vice President of International Supply Chain Solutions at Ryder.
We are also very grateful to Members for reaching out to provide our community with special events and insights through their own programming, such as Gold-Vision’s series of webinars or CIMA Canada’s Conference on Trust in the Age of Misinformation. Idalia is always pleased to promote such opportunities and Members should reach out to her if they have plans for 2022 that they would like to discuss.
The list of events we’ve had to forego is almost as long as the list of events we were able to hold but the Summer Bash and the Christmas Party are the two that most stick out. We sincerely hope, as we spend yet another Christmas apart, that you and your family are healthy and ready to face the challenges of another knotty year.