Toronto Commerce: Wanted by Organization with 53 States, Fast Growth
May 18, 2006

May 18, 2006... A Workshop on May 25th will advise Toronto companies on how they can be the new hub of sales to the Commonwealth's 53 countries, according to Commonwealth Advantage President the Honourable Sinclair Stevens.

Mr. Stevens, who has just returned from a deal-making trip to mid-Asia, stresses that the arrangements he made for Canadian firms in Pakistan can be repeated in the Commonwealth's other fastest-growing economies -- India, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia and the U.K.

The Workshop, which will be an interactive event designed to allow business leaders to comment on a giant Commonwealth-NAFTA conference being planned in the Fall, will be hosted by the Commonwealth Advantage organization.

"The two largest economic blocks are the Commonwealth and NAFTA, said Mr. Stevens, who was instrumental in bringing five auto plants to Canada during his years as federal Minister of Industry. "The Commonwealth offers access to 53 states, which provide businesses with a selection of financing and tax regimes. The Commonwealth combines the unity of a common language and business customers, with the diversity of business support mechanisms.

"The Commonwealth is the greatest single opportunity for Canadian businesses looking for global growth. And looking the other direction, Canada provides a distinct attraction for investment by Commonwealth countries, because we can act as a low-risk springboard into the rest of the NAFTA market."

Date: Thursday, May 25th, 2006
Time: 12 Noon to 2:00 P.M. (Lunch included).
In the afternoon there will be one on one sessions to help companies negotiate with the right buyers or sellers of their services or products.
Location: The Dominion Club
One King Street West, 12th Floor
At King and Yonge Streets Subway Stop
Toronto, Ontario
Cost: A $40.00 fee will be charged for lunch.
Registration: Online: http://www.cata.ca/Commonwealth/workshop.html
As seating at The Dominion Club is quite limited, please RSVP as soon as possible.

The workshop will address key questions such as:

  • Can businessmen in India and other Commonwealth countries give a competitive advantage to firms in Canada?
  • In turn can Canadians help such businessmen develop their own domestic markets?
  • What kind of strategies and programs can Canadian firms do to foster these relationships, including joint penetration of markets like the U.S.A.?
  • What companies in Canada should be using these Commonwealth services to make themselves more competitive?

Several founding partners are driving the Commonwealth Advantage program. They include Magna International Inc. of Aurora; Pinetree Capital Ltd. of Toronto; Aithent Technologies of Delhi, India and Mississauga; and TCS Courier Service of Karachi, Pakistan and North York.

Presentations will include:

  • Dr. Charles McMillan - Defining our Competitive Advantage within the Commonwealth
  • Several players in the IT field will describe Canada's role in a Global IT cluster.
  • Barry Gander of CATA will outline plans for a North American Summit to be held this fall in Ottawa, entitled "The Commonwealth Meets NAFTA".

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About the Commonwealth Advantage
The Commonwealth Advantage was founded in Canada as a private-sector, member-based association that seeks to lever ties within the Commonwealth to build practical business advantages for businesses. The Canadian chapter of the organization, the Canadian Commonwealth Advantage, is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Royal Commonwealth Society of Toronto Foundation and the Toronto Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society. The Canadian Commonwealth Advantage provides a unique ability to bridge barriers to international trade and promote successful global business strategies. It works in partnership in Canada with the country's largest high-tech business organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, and the Canadian Innovation Centre, which provides case-by-case strategies for business growth.Please visit: http://www.cata.ca/Communities/commonwealth