Exporting Canadian Goods
Kevin Au-Yeung, Todd Winterhalt, Martha Harrison and Hilton Ngo, moderated by Anita McOuat
” The World Needs More Canada “
Feb. 24, 2020
The numbers show Canadian companies are lagging on export diversification. In fact, merchandise imports from the European Union jumped 12.6% in the CETA’s first year. With tariffs and other geopolitical concerns creating economic uncertainty and Canadian business leaders signalling rising pessimism, it’s time for our companies to embrace new opportunities to boost their resilience and position themselves for growth by expanding their presence in non-US markets.
The Canadian Club Toronto hosts Kevin Au-Yeung (Nobis), Todd Winterhalt (EDC), Martha Harrison (McCarthy Tetrault) and Hilton Ngo (Levelwear) to discuss the successes, challenges and trends in getting Canadian goods exported and sold.
Kevin Au-Yeung, Founder & President, InnoVision Holdings Corporation
Kevin is the founder and President of InnoVision Holdings Corporation, a Canadian based group of international apparel brands and companies.
Nobis Inc., InnoVision’s primary subsidiary, is a global premium brand that develops adaptive outerwear by marrying innovative technical functionalities with its fashion forward designs. Nobis is distributed in over 35 countries, at premium department stores, authorized dealers, flagship stores and is embraced by celebrities and athletics around the world.
Fan Ink Limited, another InnoVision subsidiary, is a football(soccer) inspired lifestyle apparel and accessories brand. Fan Ink is a licensee of close to 20 leading European football clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
Kevin is also the President of the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACCE), a leading national Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs’ organization with thousands of business owner members residing coast to coast in a diverse base of industries. He is a regular participant / delegate in the China and Japan trade missions hosted by the City of Markham and was one of the five judges in the nationwide 2019 Telus Pitch business contest.
Martha Harrison, Partner, McCarthy Tetrault LLP
Martha Harrison is a partner in the International Trade and Investment Law, and Retail and Consumer Markets Groups in Toronto. She is also the coordinator of the firm’s Advertising and Marketing practice. With industry expertise spanning retail & consumer markets, power, mining, food / agriculture, oil & gas, and the technology sector, Martha acts as a trusted business advisor to clients, balancing international trade and regulatory law, from a Canadian perspective.
Martha offers a full suite of international trade and investment services, including customs law, anti-dumping and countervail issues, import/export controls, treaty compliance, public procurement, foreign investment, and investor-state disputes. She also routinely appears before regulators at all stages of trade disputes. As part of her advertising, marketing and regulatory practice, Martha provides proactive and pragmatic advice on product regulation in Canada, including standards, packaging and labelling, importing and exporting issues, transportation, and supply chain matters. Martha guides clients through the application of product standards along the supply chain, and advises on marketing rules surrounding regulated products, such as cosmetics, natural health products, medical devices, foods, and over-the-counter drugs.
An experienced and sought-after member of the trade bar, Martha is focused on results-based compliance and helps clients in regulated product markets navigate both trade and regulatory business hurdles, to optimize growth opportunities inside and outside of Canada.
Due to her unique expertise, Martha is also known in the Canadian cannabis industry as an expert on trade, advertising, marketing and regulatory issues for cannabis products, hemp, and related products.
A former adjunct professor of international arbitration at Queen’s University and MBA sessional instructor at DeGroote School of Business, Martha regularly speaks on matters related to trade, consumer regulation and international arbitration. She was also selected by the Government of Canada to be listed on the roster of arbitrators to serve on panels established under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 2013, she was named one of Lexpert’s Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 and is recognized as a leading Canadian international trade lawyer by a number of industry and peer-review directories.
Martha received her LLM from The University of Toronto in 2005, her LLB in 2001 from the University of Windsor, and her M.A. and her B.A. from York University in 1998 and 1997 respectively. She was called to the bar in Ontario in 2002.
Hilton Ngo, President, Levelwear
Hilton Ngo is the President of Levelwear. Hilton leads a global organization with Merchandising and Sourcing offices in Hongkong and China, Sales representative offices throughout the USA, Canada, China and Europe, and warehousing and distribution in the Canada and the USA.
Over the past 20 years, Hilton Ngo has led the company through its growth journey evolving from a contract apparel decorator to a branded apparel designer, manufacturer, importer, exporter and distributor. He has gained an understanding of apparel sourcing, manufacturing, importing and exporting, US, Canada, China and Asia international trade, customs regulations, supply chain management, logistics and their impacts on company and country competitiveness.
Mr. Ngo is an active member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization). He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School President’s Program. He holds a BBA in Finance from the Schulich School of Business.
Todd Winterhalt, Senior Vice-President, Communications and Corporate Strategy, Export Development Canada
Todd Winterhalt was appointed Senior Vice-President, Communications and Corporate Strategy in May 2019. The group he leads is responsible for reaching out to EDC audiences, internal and external, our stakeholders and the media, to drive greater visibility in the marketplace and tell the EDC story. As well, his team is charged with developing our organization’s long-term corporate strategy in support of Canada’s exporters and international investors. In addition to the strategy, communications, public affairs and economics teams, his group includes the corporate secretariat team, which manages the critical relationship between EDC’s Board of Directors and corporate strategy development.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Winterhalt was EDC’s Vice-President, Global Trade, a group whose launch he oversaw in 2016. Since joining EDC in 2002, he held a number of roles of increasing responsibility, including: Vice-President, International Business Development; Vice-President, Human Resources; Chief International Research Advisor, Financing; and, Director, Political Risk Assessment. Prior to joining EDC, Mr. Winterhalt served in the Canadian diplomatic corps where he held several roles, including Consul and Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Consulate General in São Paulo, Brazil.
Mr. Winterhalt holds a Honours B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, and a M.Sc from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the inaugural recipient of EDC’s Excellence in People Leadership Award and is a past-President of the Canadian Association of Professional Intelligence Analysts. Todd, his wife Karen and their six children live in Ottawa.
Anita McOuat, National Leader, Technology and Media, Telecom & Consumer Markets, PwC
President-Elect, Canadian Club Toronto
Anita is a partner at PwC, where she is the National Leader of the Technology, Media, Telecom (TMT) and Consumer Markets practice. Anita leads engagements with clients in a variety of industries, including retail, technology, entertainment & media. Based in Toronto, she has also spent time working with PwC in Boston and Shanghai.
In addition to the Canadian Club of Toronto, Anita serves on the board of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, where she sits on the Audit and Governance committees. She is also on the board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, where she is the Treasurer and chair of the audit committee.
Anita holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University, and she is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant.