Report on Connecting Canada and Latvia
26.09.2017


Representatives of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (Ed Kalvins – Chairman, Sam Davidovich – Director, CanCham Canada, and Dr Kintija Barloti – Healthcare Group Leader) held a series of 14 meetings in Toronto between September 13th and 21st, 2017, and a reception at the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre on September 19th, 2017.

The immediate objective of the mission was to establish a base in Canada (“Team Canada”) which would support the objectives of the CanCham recognizing that the CanCham’s main goal is to promote Canada-Latvia business opportunities by developing strategic partnerships between CanCham members and their Canadian counterparts. We also recognize that Latvia alone presents limited opportunities, but it’s geographic location at the centre of Northern Europe with the only ice free ports on the Baltic Sea, and its history resulting in cultural diversity present unique opportunities for accessing Central Asia, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, and the European Union itself.

The main subject areas discussed included:

  1. Export of products, equipment and services from Canada: CanCham members in Latvia are willing and able to support Canadian businesses wishing to operate in Northern Europe through our Business Support Group http://cancham.lv/cancham-members/business-support and other CanCham members.
  2. Export of products, equipment and services from Latvia: This mission established “Team Canada” which will support exports from the Baltic region for CanCham members with an emphasis on helping with marketing, market studies and market selection, branding for the local market, sales support and activity coordination. Current members interested in export are found in http://cancham.lv/cancham-members/export---products and http://cancham.lv/cancham-members/export---services.
  3. Investments: Team Canada can assist with investment project development and funding.
  4. Healthcare related projects: This includes medical tourism, pharmaceutical production and sales. Team Canada will network with CanCham members. See http://cancham.lv/cancham-members/healthcare--pharma.
  5. Construction related services: CanCham members involved in providing construction related services http://cancham.lv/cancham-members/construction are looking for partners with new technologies and/or those who can use CanCham member services on a sub-contracting basis to decrease their costs.

 

Thirty entrepreneurs and business people participated in the reception/presentation on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 at the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre to discuss business opportunities with Latvia and Northern Europe. The presentation can be viewed at Connecting Canada and Latvia.

Because of the diversity of opportunities available, CanCham provides “Managed Networking” which matches requirements to solution providers on an individual basis to ensure that there is a fit for all concerned. Each person or company attending the reception/presentation or participating in the meetings with CanCham reps during the mission has the potential to offer solutions and opportunities. We are now entering a period of intensive matchmaking to develop suitable partnerships.

Interested parties are asked to communicate their requirements by writing to info@cancham.lv.

During the mission, we firmed up an organization that will provide administrative support services for the CanCham in Canada for both the Latvian and Canadian sides. This will be headed by Sam Davidovich – Director, CanCham Canada, who himself, through his company Transcontinental Consulting Company Inc., offers market entry services and is a specialist in construction related services. We thank Sam for his involvement and help in setting up this mission.

We also thank the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre (LCCC) http://www.latviancentre.org/ at 4 Credit Union Drive, Toronto which allowed the CanCham the use of their premises to promote the Canada and Latvia connection. The LCCC has always been proud of our Latvian heritage and works very hard to preserve it, not only for ourselves and our children, but to share it with our friends and those around us. The LCCC is particularly proud of its food, arts and crafts, and cultural events involving music and dance and invites visitors to share the experience by coming to the Centre. There are many ways this can be done: by renting conference and banquet facilities for special occasions or business events, enjoying brunches or BBQ’s, participating in events, shopping in our store for unique products from Latvia or just meeting friends in Umurkumurs for a coffee or refreshing drink. Now we have the opportunity to develop business opportunities between Canada and Latvia by using the Centre as a focal and meeting point for these activities.

The CanCham intends to optimize the expected benefits from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Canada/European Union free trade agreement that will remove most tariffs and bureaucracy between the EU and Canada and will greatly impact small and medium sized business. See http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ceta/. This will provide major export opportunities for EU and Canadian companies, particularly for small and medium sized businesses. The agreement has been approved by both EU and Canadian parliaments and is currently going through the ratification process before becoming fully implemented.

The Canadian NATO deployment to Latvia also serves to benefit the development of stronger relations between Canada and Latvia, as well as assuring security in the region.

The basic longer range strategy is to arrange strategic partnerships between CanCham members and the Canadian business community that could be interested in the Northern European market or using Latvia as a entry point into this region, or that could benefit from receiving goods and services from this area. CanCham members and their Canadian partners are expected to develop a working relationship which provides CanCham members with our exclusive business to business Managed Networking Service.

This event was the start of the Canadian side of a process that was started two years ago in anticipation of CETA. Let’s make things happen together.

For pictures, see www.facebook.com/canchamlatvia

Please follow http://cancham.lv/news for updates.




 
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