Who we are
EU Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West is a non-profit, membership-based organization incorporated in November 2013 under the Society Act of BC.
Its start-up is funded by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada – West with a goal of becoming self sustaining bilateral trade organization based on the income from business services, corporate membership as well as from the project based private and public funding. Its six founding directors are Canadian citizens originally from Germany, Italy, UK, Croatia, Poland and France.
The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion. The Comprehensive and Economic Agreement (CETA) represents Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the much debated and divisive North American Free Trade Agreement.
Western Canada is under-represented in the trade dynamic with the EU, particularly regarding small and medium sized companies. Whereas large corporations can marshal considerable resources to facilitate internationalization, SMEs often underestimate their potential to be successful internationally, to become a “micro-multinational” in effect, because they lack knowledge of foreign markets and because of perceived obstacles. Among these perceived obstacles are difficulties in identifying market opportunities and entry strategies, choosing reliable foreign partners, accessing financing, overcoming trade barriers, and complying with security and authentication requirements.
While the West historically and naturally looks towards Asia as its most important secondary trade partner, with the signing of CETA, bilateral opportunities will flourish and SMEs in Western Canada need to position themselves in order to capitalize upon those opportunities.
Over the past two decades in Vancouver, most of the trade and business associations dealing primarily with single member states have closed their doors, gone dormant or moved elsewhere. Yet now, as never before, the presence of an organization facilitating trade and investment with the European Union would be required to assist companies in Canada and the EU capitalize on the market liberalization that CETA will bring.
in order for them to take advantage of the market liberalization foreseen under CETA.
We draw our members from Canadian companies interested in doing business in the EU as well as EU businesses present in Western Canada. As a membership-based organization we offer our business services to members at discounted prices.
Activities and Goals
We focus on activities within industry sectors prominent in Western Canada:
Our main upcoming activities: