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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.

 

Mission Statement

  • To facilitate trade and investments between EU and Canada with a special focus on Western Canada.
  • To increase public awareness of CETA and to support & promote the EU-Canada trade in Western Canada
  • To complement activities of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto
  • To liaison with EU and Canadian Diplomatic Posts and government agencies and all strategic partners from public and private sectors operating in Canada and all EU member states

 

Rationale:

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.

 

Services

  • We act as a service-centre for providing information, business contacts, organizing trade & investment missions to Fairs and Conventions and generally acting as a catalyst between economic operators in Western Canada and in the EU.

 

  • We provide business tools, support and assistance for:
  • Canadian companies looking to expand their businesses in the EU
  • EU companies interested in doing business in Western Canada

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:

  • High Tech (ICT, Clean Tech, Digital Media, Film, Life Sciences)
  • Aerospace
  • Agrifoods
  • Energy & Environment
  • Forest Products
  • Natural resources
  • Construction & Development
  • Innovation/R&D
  • Tourism
  • Investments

 

Our main upcoming activities:

  • Acquiring Support of Strategic Institutional Partners

 

  • Acquiring Support from private sector – Membership recruitment

 

 

  • Outreach strategies:
  • Creating dedicated website as a reference point for all activities.
  • Setting up the Go Europe and Go Canada help desks to answer enquiries about doing business in the EU and in Canada.
  • Bi-monthly electronic Newsletter regarding EU-Canada relations, a business opportunities, public tenders, upcoming trade missions
  • Creating an Online Business/Social Media Platform connecting Western Canadian and European companies through a dedicated closed LinkedIn business group and other online business tools.
  • Country presentation series – “Doing Business With…” to promote business & investment opportunities in each individual EU member state.
  • Setting up Go Europe and Go Canada help desks to answer telephone and email enquiries about doing business in the EU and in Canada.
  • Organization of Business Forums, with the goal of bringing together Canadian and European SMEs in a specific sector to discuss the state of the industry and developments following CETA.
  • Organization of pan-Western Canadian Trade Missions to selected Trade shows in Europe.


 

 

Strategic Partners:

 

Canadian partners:

  • Export Development Canada
  • DFAIT
  • European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto
  • CME/ Canada Enterprise Network
  • Provincial Governments
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Trade associations

 

 

European partners:

  • EU Delegation to Canada and European Countries’ Diplomatic Posts in Canada
  • Canadian Embassies in EU member states
  • Chambers of Commerce in EU member states
  • Europe Enterprise Network
  • Eurochambres
  • Trade Associations in Europe