Report on the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia Creating Visibility

Cleary, there is need for a more effective way of communicating what is being done to meet CanCham’s objectives of promoting member interests and developing business opportunities for our members, especially now that CETA, the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU, is a reality.

This is why “Creating Visibility” was held on February 5th, 2018 at the Riga Business School. Thirty one CanCham members attended this annual event to review the CanCham’s objectives as described in and to discuss how we could improve. We recognize that many have difficulty navigating our web site, so this was to help them understand how we work, but we also needed to inform the membership of recent changes since we seem to be passing up on many opportunities.

The CanCham encourages our members and partners to work together (Partnering for Profit) and to develop strategic partnerships, that is, connect with others who can support each other’s business objectives.

Yes, there are challenges. We may have financial limitations, but this does not stop us from talking to one another and sharing information. It’s not what you know as much as it’s who you know, and that’s what it’s all about. The main thing is to be able to tell others what we can do, and for the CanCham, to tell its members what methods we are using to help them.

We introduced and explained how our group leader system works. The team’s role is to organize, communicate and connect the dots, that is, to arrange to have those with a need connect to those with a solution. Of course, members must also be active for anything good to happen. The role of members includes participating in events and providing information such as that needed for our “SELL SHEETS” and informing the Team of developments. It was particularly noted in the meeting that when members fail to attend meetings it not only hurts them, but hurts the active ones seeking to connect with others. Networking is what it’s all about.

Some people wonder if the CanCham has a plan. Actually - yes, and members should be aware of it. We welcome suggestions for improvements.

We also reviewed our target audience, that is, where we have to concentrate our energy and resources for the optimum benefit. As the CanCham, our focus is on foreign companies in Latvia,  connecting with Canada, and working with the  Canadian Armed Forces, Foreign Embassies in Latvia, and individual countries where we have contacts, including Taiwan, India, Central Asia and others. We are not addressing local business as each member has his own way of doing business, unless we can support each other in our business ventures.

The methods used were reviewed which included:

The CanCham forwards links from our web site to potential clients, depending on their interests.

A special effort is underway to connect Canada and Latvia through business missions in order to benefit from CETA:

The main purpose is to connect our members to strategic partners.

Mr Atis Lejiòð, a member of our Saeima (Parliament), is actively supporting our efforts and acknowledged the work that is being done.

CanCham board members went on an exploratory mission to Toronto last September to lay the groundwork for future missions. The presentation shown in Canada was part of today’s presentation. It should be noted the information (or lack there-of) received from our members to promote their interests is a factor in them connecting with opportunities and potential clients. There is certainly room for improvement. In any event, we did manage to form “Team Canada” – people and companies willing to work with our members in connecting Latvia to Canada.

To see the full presentation, please follow this link – Creating Visibility

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