Developing trade relationships between Canada and Russia/Eurasia
Ontario Construction Report staff writer
The Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA) hosted its sixth International Construction and Infrastructure Conference in Toronto on Nov. 27. Approximately 100 delegates enjoyed the opportunity to share information, network and form partnerships.
CERBA regional director Katherine Balabanova says the event resulted in 15 one-on-one meetings between Canadian and international counterparts.
“The trade commissioner at the Canadian embassy in Moscow received requests from Russian companies looking for Canadian counterparts,” she said. “We located appropriate Canadian counterparts and invited them to the conference. Part of the registration process also invited people to directly request a meeting with a potential partner so people could seek out their own connections.”
Conference presentations and conversations focused on road building and infrastructure, and information about opportunities within the Russian and CIS markets. “Canadian expertise is very valuable, especially in the areas of northern construction and technologies, low-rise wood- frame construction and affordable housing, sports infrastructure, architecture and others,” says Balabonova. “There is a great deal of opportunity we’re hoping to get more Canadian companies involved with.”
Speakers discussed road building in Russia, Canadian technologies for road building in northern climates, construction law and import/export issues. “Interactive discussions around the issues, we hope, will affect policies in Russia and other CIS countries to make it easier for companies to do business there,” she says.
Balabanova described a partnership potential opportunity. “Lindal Cedar Homes is a builder of cedar homes who has operated in British Columbia for more than six decades,” she said. “They formed a partnership with ACM Lindal in Russia, who have proven themselves a great performer (effective 2003 – top Lindal dealer in the world) and a positive partner. Partnerships like these are great examples of what is possible. Russia is a country of colossal potential.”
Balabanova says one challenge in establishing trade relationships between the countries is a lack of clarity from senior government leaders.“We’re hoping for clarity but it’s hard to continue our work without government support.”
For more information visit cerbanet.org or www.cerbaconstruction.com