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CME President's Report from 2015 Annual General Meeting

Published by Brad Fougere on September 21, 2015

Report from the President and Chief Executive Officer

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

September 2015

 

I am pleased to report on CME’s record of achievement over the past year and the actions taken by the Association to serve our members. 

 

It was a year of significant economic challenge for Canadian industry.  Yet, thanks to the support and active engagement of our members, and to the efforts of our expert staff, CME made significant progress in improving the business environment for Canada’s manufacturers and exporters.

 

We focused our efforts on advocacy and services to address the critical issues that face our members, helping them solve problems with government, identify new business opportunities, improve operations, and save money.

 

Our advocacy efforts made a real difference.  For the second year running, CME was recognized as the most influential business association in Canada.  In fact, thanks to our members CME recorded more meetings with senior federal officials and more media citations last year than any other national business association.  Over the course of the past year, we met on 12 different occasions with the Prime Minister, twice with each of the other party leaders, many times with MPs from all parties, as well as with the premiers, and ministers and MLAs, in all provinces. 

 

At both federal and provincial levels, we engaged our members in developing Manufacturing Action Plans to promote the importance of the sector and strengthen our case for specific proposals for policy reform.  We continue to grow our network of CEO councils, which have been instrumental in involving members in our advocacy activities and building political support for our policy recommendations.  Our advocacy efforts were supported by all of the 56 industry associations that are now members of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, which is chaired by CME, and we are working to develop similar coalitions at the provincial level as well.

 

Our public and government relations efforts paid off.  Beginning with last October’s  Manufacturing Month campaign, during which more than 200 companies across Canada opened their doors to government officials, the media, and the general public, CME has been making a concerted effort to promote the image and importance of manufacturing and the policy priorities of the sector as a whole.  Over the past year, our advocacy work resulted in the adoption of advanced manufacturing as a priority in the federal government’s Science & Technology strategy, a ten-year extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance for investments in manufacturing equipment in the 2015 federal budget, the creation and expansion of investment funds for manufacturing innovation, and the establishment of a new Industry Integrated Education initiative that combines university and college curricula with practical industry training programs.  Our leadership was also effective in improving regulations under the federal government’s Chemical Management Plan, Temporary Foreign Worker and Expedited Entry Programs, and its newly introduced Public Integrity Framework.

 

CME also took a leading role in advising federal and provincial governments with respect to measures to guard against unfair trading practices, enhance investment, support industrial innovation, skills training, and productivity enhancement, streamline border procedures, improve the reliability and cost competitiveness of energy and logistics infrastructure, eliminate unnecessary regulatory compliance costs, and provide more public procurement opportunities for Canadian business.

 

We were particularly active in promoting the interests of our members in the field of international trade and investment.  CME was closely consulted throughout Canada’s negotiations with Europe, South Korea, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We have been a strong promoter of Canada’s new Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union in Canada as well as in Europe, where I have been invited to join the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and Canadian ambassadors to speak about the benefits of the agreement to business audiences in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Germany, and Italy.

 

Even more important have been the activities and services that we have developed to help our members identify and take advantage of international business opportunities.  Over the past year, CME hosted 15 Go Global sessions across Canada, organized in partnership with the Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, Business Development Bank, and Canadian Commercial Corporation to highlight services available to Canadian exporters.  Over 1,500 business people attended our half-day sessions which were usually accompanied by a roundtable for CME members with the Minister for International Trade.

 

In addition, we launched our Export IQ program, a weekly webinar series with trade experts focusing on specific international market opportunities.  Forty-two calls have been organized to date, each with 50 to 60 business participants, the majority of which are small and medium-sized exporters. 

 

Last fall, CME launched the Enterprise Canada Network, a single-window online platform connecting Canadian companies to technology, procurement, and partnering opportunities in Canada and around the world.  To date, there have been over 75,000 visits to the ECN site; 1,012 Canadian companies have registered on the site, of which 97 have responded to international requests and offers for partnerships and 95 have posted their own opportunity profiles on the site; and, 67 partnership matches have been concluded thus far.

 

We have supplemented these services by working with our own international partner organizations, primarily in the United States, Mexico, and Europe, to host incoming business missions, organize our own international missions, and provide direct advice and assistance to our members looking to establish a business presence outside Canada.  And, in partnership with EDC and the Forum for International Trade Training, CME is now offering our members customized export training workshops geared to helping SMEs prepare to export.

 

At the national level, two other CME initiatives are of note.  Last spring, we launched Canada Makes, Canada's premier additive technologies network, which has now grown to include 25 manufacturing and technology firms. We have also developed national competency based standards for entry, supervisory, and management level skills in manufacturing, which are now being employed across the country to help standardize manufacturing training programs.

 

Our divisions have also been active in delivering training and capacity-building services to members, allowing them to showcase best practices in innovation and business management, reduce costs, identify business opportunities, and find solutions for their business problems.  For instance, in BC, CME has become the province’s delivery partner for the Canada Jobs Grant.  Our Manufacturing Centre of Excellence was launched last fall in Saskatchewan, building on the success of similar Lean, training, and management development initiatives in Manitoba.  Our Lean conference in Winnipeg last June attracted manufacturers from across Canada and the United States, as well as participants from other countries.  Our Smart programs in Northern and Southern Ontario provide direct financial assistance to manufacturers investing in productivity enhancing processes and technologies.  The MEQ is taking the lead in identifying manufacturing opportunities connected to energy developments in Quebec.  Our New Brunswick and Nova Scotia divisions are also working on connecting members with new international and procurement opportunities.  And, here in Newfoundland and Labrador, our division has launched two new Manufacturing Productivity and Manufacturing Insights programs.

 

Thanks to our partners and sponsors, CME has been able to organize workshops, conferences, and networking events connecting manufacturers and exporters to new business and educational opportunities, as well as to policy makers, across the country.

 

These are some of the ways that CME delivers bottom line value to our members.  We continue to build on these initiatives to develop a more extensive range of business services to support Canada’s manufacturers and exporters.  And, with new governments in place in Ottawa and some of our provinces, a challenging economic outlook, more intense competition, and the rapid development of new manufacturing technologies, we can look forward to a very exciting year ahead.

 

I am pleased to report that CME concluded its 2014/15 financial year with revenues of $17.6 million and a net operating surplus of $163,000.

 

CME’s achievements and our ability to respond rapidly to changing economic conditions depend on the input, engagement, and active participation of CME members across the country, and especially the members of our committees and divisional and National Boards of Directors.  I would like to thank all Board members for their commitment, contributions, guidance, and support. 

 

Our achievements are due above all to a skilled and dedicated CME staff.  My thanks go to the professional team of colleagues with whom I am proud to work in support of manufacturers and exporters across Canada.

 

 

Jayson Myers

President & CEO

 

September 15th, 2015

Found in: Annual General Meeting (AGM)

National Office

Alberta British Columbia
Manitoba New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia
Ontario Québec
Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan