Firms know little about trade deals as Canada pushes to diversify federal

first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged European partners this week to finalize Canada’s trade deal with the EU, a push that came with his government facing a tough sales job at home: getting domestic firms to use it.A recent government survey suggests the vast majority of small and medium-sized exporters, which are positioned to benefit from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, could very well be asking: CETA who?The survey said only seven per cent of the surveyed businesses were familiar with details of the Canada-EU deal, while fewer than three quarters had even heard of it. Only nine per cent said they took advantage of CETA and 17 per cent planned to use it.The survey, commissioned by the Foreign Affairs Department, asked questions of 507 exporting companies online in March and April, and also involved 40 “in-depth” telephone interviews. It was delivered in June and cost more than $132,000.Researchers asked questions on about a dozen of Canada’s free-trade treaties and found CETA wasn’t the only deal in need of a promotional boost.“Among Canadian (small-to-medium-sized enterprises), there was fairly low awareness of Canada’s free-trade agreements,” said an analysis that accompanied the results.“Few companies use any of these free-trade agreements; the exception is (the North American Free Trade Agreement).”The survey’s objective was to gauge how many smaller firms were aware of Canada’s newest free-trade deals, to what extent they were taking advantage of them and the obstacles keeping firms from entering these overseas markets.For years, federal governments — led by both Liberals and Conservatives — have struggled to get more companies to pursue fresh free-trade opportunities beyond the familiarity and convenience of the United States market.Uncertainty around the critical Canada-U.S. trading relationship has grown since the election of President Donald Trump, making diversification a more urgent matter.In addition to CETA, respondents were asked about Canada’s deal with Pacific Rim economies. That pact is known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and includes Japan, New Zealand and Australia.Similar to the numbers for CETA, only seven per cent were aware of the CPTPP’s details and just over 70 per cent had ever heard of it. About 30 per cent of respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to start trading with CPTPP partners.The questions also took up other free-trade agreements. The majority of companies said they had never heard of Canada’s bilateral deals with Ukraine, Israel, Chile, South Korea, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru or Honduras.When it came to factors keeping them from exploring faraway markets, the survey found that the high value of the Canadian dollar was seen as the top challenge, with 69 per cent of respondents describing it as at least a minor stumbling block.The findings pointed to other problems, including uncertain regulations in other countries; lack of contacts; tariffs; a shortage of information on opportunities; linguistic and cultural obstacles; lack of financing; and Canadian export taxes and permits.One-third of companies had no interest in other markets and, among those planning to sell abroad, the top targets were Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — all English-speaking Commonwealth countries.Trudeau talked up the benefits of the Canada-EU deal this week in Montreal, where he met with European Council President Donald Tusk and Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU trade commissioner.CETA is supposed to give Canadian firms preferred access to a $24-trillion market and 500 million European consumers.Canada has ratified CETA, but so far only 13 of the EU’s 28 member countries have done the same. More than 90 per cent of the deal came into force in September 2017 under what is known as provisional application but all the individual ratifications are needed for its full implementation.Trudeau said CETA has already helped lift trade between Canada and Europe. He acknowledged, however, that Canada needs to do more to make sure it’s taking full advantage.“Perhaps, the early numbers show that Europeans have been quicker to increase their trade towards Canada than Canadian companies have been able to engage with Europe,” Trudeau told reporters Thursday.“But we have tremendous confidence that Canadian companies will continue to benefit and increase their opportunities to grow their businesses through selling more to Europe.”—Follow @AndyBlatchford on TwitterAndy Blatchford, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Tropical Storm Erika is a killer

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 27 Aug 2015 – USA Today confirms 4 people were killed on the island of Dominica as a result of Tropical Storm Erika. Also, the heavy rain brought on calamitous flooding and landslides. Photos and video on social media showed floodwaters inundating streets causing buildings to collapse.AccuWeather.com is sourcing AP for the same info. U.S. News: is also saying that a police official in Dominica confirms that 4 persons have died as a result of severe flooding and mudslides caused by TS Erika. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:Dominica, killer, tropical storm erika McAlpine defends views on Dominica, says he is simply representing the views of his constituents Post Maria: Dominica will rebuild with concrete Recommended for you 27 dead, a dozen missing in Dominica after hurricane Marialast_img read more

CBI arrests Bengali film producer Shrikant Mohta

first_imgKolkata: Renowned Bengali film director Shrikant Mohta was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday for allegedly defrauding ponzi chit fund company Rose Valley.It has been alleged by the investigating agency that Mohta has duped Rose Valley chief Gautam Kundu by taking Rs 24 crore for the making of several films. However, a statement from Shree Venkatesh Films said: “CBI has, in the past few months, called Shrikant Mohta for investigation in the Rose Valley Chit fund matter as a witness, owing to past business transactions between SVF and Brand Value (a Rose Valley Group company) and on account of past legal cases on the same matter, where the High Court of Kolkata had quashed all charges alleged against Mohta and the same was affirmed by the Supreme Court of India.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt further maintained: ” Mohta appeared before CBI twice in the past as a witness and fully cooperated with the investigation. However, on account of personal reasons, he was not able to appear before CBI in the month of January. This was communicated to the CBI with a request to grant him time of 15 days. Mohta even offered his cooperation to CBI in the interim period by requesting them to provide any information required by the CBI from him.” Mohta is the co-founder of Shree Venkatesh Films, which has produced over 120 films. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseChokher Bali, Raincoat, Memories In March, Autograph, Iti Mrinalini, Baishey Srabon and Hemlock Society. According to the CBI, investigation has revealed that in pursuance of criminal conspiracy with said group of companies, the accused allegedly misappropriated Rs 24 crore (approx) in the name of producing films and siphoned off this money illegally collected by the said ponzi scheme company from the residents of Bengal, Assam, Odisha and elsewhere. It was further alleged that he invested part of funds in procurement of paintings through a private film company and he also foisted other accused persons in ponzi scheme cases to make similar purchases. The private group of the chit fund company had collected Rs 15,000 crore(approx) from public. It has been alleged that as Mohta did not respond to the summons that were issued, CBI sleuths on Thursday raided Mohta’s company SVF Entertainment Private Limited’s Kasba office. Mohta was detained from his office amid much drama. When the CBI arrived at his office, he reportedly called up the local police station and complained that some hooligans were creating a disturbance outside his office. The police rushed in only to realise that it was a full-fledged CBI operation. Mohta was questioned for almost two-and-a-half-hours there. Later he was taken to the CGO Complex in Salt Lake for interrogation and eventually detained. He was arrested later in the day. Mohta will be produced before the Court of Special CJM, CBI Cases, Bhubaneswar, on Friday. Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday criticised the arrest of Mohta and said “no one is being spared in the Narendra Modi regime”. “They are arresting and are trying to intimidate everybody. Be it a writer, an actor, a film personality…. They don’t want to spare anyone. The people will give them a befitting reply,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said. The BJP has turned the CBI into their extended party office, Chatterjee claimed. Senior TMC leaders also alleged that the BJP is trying to pursue its vendetta politics through these arrests. SVF has denied the accusations and raised an objection. “We have full faith in the judiciary and it remains our endeavour to support and cooperate with the enforcement agencies in the course of their investigation,” a release said.last_img read more

Magic Leap introduces an Independent Creator Program offers grants between 20000 and

first_imgThe Magic Leap Independent Creator Program is a development fund to help individual developers and teams to kick-start their Magic Leap One projects. They are offering grants between $20,000 and $500,000 per project along with the developer, hardware, and marketing support. The company highlights that the program is a grant and not an exclusivity deal. “You own your IP and publishing is not exclusive to Magic Leap, You’ll be expected to publish on Magic Leap World, but participation in our program does not exclude you from supporting other platforms. Go forth, and share what you make however you wish.” the company writes. Applications are evaluated on originality, use case, and the team’s technical capability and diversity, project scope and feasibility, and to what extent their concept encourages user engagement. How will the process work? Developers are invited to apply and showcase their projects by December 15th, 2018. Applications will be reviewed by the Magic Leap team and funding will be offered on a rolling basis through February 15, 2019. If developers receive a grant, they will be paired with Magic Leap’s Developer Relations team for guidance and support. Once, teams have built, submitted, and launched their projects, the best experiences will be showcased at L.E.A.P. Conference in 2019. Teams will receive dedicated marketing support, including planning, promotion, and social media amplification. The Developer Relations team consisting of Magic Leap’s subject matter experts and QA testers will give developers one on one guidance. You can start applying from Magic Leap’s website. Read Next Magic Leap unveils Mica, a human-like AI in augmented reality. Magic Leap teams with Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios to enhance Augmented Reality. Magic Leap One, the first mixed reality headsets by Magic Leap, is now available at $2295.last_img read more