TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian advisors and mentors will work side-by-side with small- and medium-sized businesses in Bolivia, Burkina Faso and Guyana over the next two years, through a joint partnership between CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization) and TFO (Trade Facilitation Office) Canada.
In late 2012, TFO Canada and CESO began work to improve the export competiveness and readiness of 50 small- and medium-size enterprises employing about 3,000 people in Bolivia, Burkina Faso and Guyana, with a particular emphasis on women-led businesses. They will also help those firms establish contacts with international markets, particularly in Canada, and will increase the capacity of five local trade support institutions located in these countries.
The project, which is funded by the Partnerships with Canadians Branch of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), combines CESO's expertise in enterprise development and capacity strengthening with TFO Canada's experience in trade development and Canadian market access.
"The Canadian Executive Service Organization and the Trade Facilitation Office's work will go a long way to improve the business competitiveness of some 50 enterprises in Burkina Faso, Guyana, and Bolivia," said Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation. "This sharing of Canadian trade and management expertise helps build competitive small- and medium-sized businesses, to the long term benefit of thousands of people and their communities."
The project's local partners in Bolivia, Burkina Faso and Guyana are involved in the production and export of a wide variety of products from agricultural products including quinoa and shea butter to crafts and artisanal products such as textiles and jewellery. While TFO Canada will focus on trade development and export promotion, CESO will support enterprise development to ensure export readiness and product competitiveness. This includes enterprise management, production and operations improvement, packaging, post-harvest handling, traceability and related Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) requirements of international retailers and food manufacturers, HAACP (food safety) certification readiness, organic certification readiness, and marketing strategies. The project will also support group marketing activities among some of the participating enterprises.
For 45 years, CESO Volunteer Advisors, who are unique in their senior level of professional experience, have focused on helping individuals and organizations across Canada and in 120 countries build strong, viable businesses and independent communities. Through their mentorship approach and partnership model, CESO's volunteers help to create sustainable change through personal client relationships and the strengthening of local partner institutions.
TFO Canada, a non-profit organization established in 1980, confronts the challenge of global poverty by promoting sustainable economic development through export information, advice and contact. Its advisors facilitate access to the Canadian marketplace and share Canadian trade expertise for the benefit of smaller exporters in developing countries.
SOURCE: CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization)
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