Mission to France – Success in the making


In June, the World Trade Centre Winnipeg (WTC Winnipeg) will be leading a major business mission to France. Proud of the legacy it inherited from its predecessor, ANIM (Manitoba’s bilingual trade agency), the Manitoba organization plans to strengthen trade between the two complementary, connected and vibrant regions.

From June 2 – 6, 2014, a handful of Manitoba entrepreneurs will explore emerging business opportunities and new markets on French soil. Committed to giving Manitoba’s business community international exposure, the WTC Winnipeg is spearheading this vital initiative.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the organization,” said Lisa Dick, Executive Director of Cornell Creme, who will be participating in the mission. “The WTC Winnipeg has done an excellent job so far, and I’m confident that I can develop partnerships for the future.”

Trade between Manitoba and France is especially appropriate and promising because of the unique connection between the two regions. Beyond the cultural bridge of a shared French language, the recent signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union opens the door to new economic opportunities. Given the fact that France has become one of the country’s major trade partners in recent decades and has established itself as a global leader in research and development, Manitoba entrepreneurs have much to gain from immersing themselves in the country’s innovative markets.

The program includes a day in Paris, during which the Manitoba delegation can network, meet Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, discover Parisian business opportunities at the Canadian Embassy with industry leaders, and attend a social evening at the residence of the Military Governor of Paris. The following day will feature targeted matchmaking meetings in Caen, Normandy, making the most of the current partnership agreement between the Province of Manitoba and the Lower Normandy region.

“I specialize in restoring buildings and monuments,” said Sotirios Kotoulas, project manager and architect at Alpha Masonry, and another mission participant. “I’m therefore particularly interested in the Parisian market, with all of its monuments and cathedrals. With this mission in France, I can seek out new contracts right on the ground.”

The second part of the mission will focus on the key Futurallia Rhône-Alpes 2014 event to be held in Lyon on June 4 – 6. Participating in this international forum that has been the driving force for Centrallia for several years will also give Manitoba entrepreneurs yet another opportunity to take part in targeted business meetings for their companies and to make new connections.

“There are many reasons this mission appeals to me,” said Mark Myrowich, owner of Erosion Control Blanket, who will also be crossing the Atlantic in June. “I plan to sign new partnerships and find French distributors. I have attended Centrallia in the past and am confident in what the WTC Winnipeg has organized. Their service and support are outstanding.”