PROWEB hosted the Export Readiness High Networking Tea on the 13th of June, 2014 which was well attended by over 80 professional and business women. The event was organised in conjunction with the Embassy of Canada. The guest speaker was Ms C.J Scot, Senior Trade Commissioner of Canada based in South Africa. The objective of the event was to raise awareness among female entrepreneurs on the existing trade opportunities between Zimbabwe and Canada, so that women can take advantage of them.
Profile of C.J
Ms C.J Scot; a Canadian Diplomat dedicated to helping increase Canada’s international trade. She serves as a Senior Trade Commissioner in the Canadian Trade Office in Johannesburg. Over the course of her career, she has been responsible for promoting trade in the Washington, D.C.-area, with South Africa, and currently with Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, etc.
In her presentation C. J highlighted that Canada’s prosperity is highly linked to its trading relationship with other countries. She articulated that over 60% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product per capita is derived from exports thereby proving that if Zimbabwean entrepreneurs, especially women, are committed to realising a better future for the country, exporting is a route on which they can never go wrong, a pathway to prosperity. She further supported exporting by reflecting on that trade enhances employment opportunities and enables higher wages, stating that 20% of the jobs in Canada fall in the trade sector. She cited examples of goods exported by Canada such as the precious stones-diamond, gold and silver- which Zimbabwe is also rich in and should export more of. She also spoke about the essence of value adding to the country’s economy through manufacturing goods and exporting them to other countries. To express the value added through exporting, CJ outlined that in the year 2013, Canada’s exports amounted to US$472 billion. She emphasized on the importance of carefully identifying a market or country to export to as well as the type of goods to export to a certain area, respectively. In closing, CJ Scot urged the ladies present to focus on fostering renovation, competitiveness and success. She highlighted the need for an individual to examine their own capabilities bearing in mind that, “One cannot cast their net too wide.”
The high networking tea provided insightful information and it was recommended that more seminars of this nature be hosted by PROWEB.