News & Events
International Business Students Meet Government Officials From Peru, Colombia
December 12, 2008
Katrin Spence, CITP, Markets and Trade Officer with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada invited the Fanshawe students to the breakfast session held on December 3, 2008, at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in Toronto. International Business Management (ITB) students Sharon Murcia and Pedro Patino were also invited to a luncheon session organized by the Peruvian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce presenting investment opportunities for Canadian companies in Peru.
Pedro Patino (centre) was one of the Fanshawe students at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Peru-Colombia Free Trade networking event.
Sharon Murcia was born in Colombia, South America. She obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in La Sabana University and while at university owned her own business that distributed software for secure transmission of information. Subsequently, she worked in the Colombian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism. Sharon actually worked on the Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the United States. She arrived in Canada in December, 2006, as a resident and enrolled in the International Business Management Program at Fanshawe College in September 2008.
Pedro Patino earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration also in Colombia and has more than 10 years broad-based and progressive experience in management and human resources in Colombia, USA and Germany. Pedro and his family moved to London, Ontario in 2004 and he has gained additional experience in business development and manufacturing.
Pedro and Sharon decided that the International Business Management Program (ITB) at Fanshawe College would be an ideal complement to their language skills and international experience. ITB graduates also earn a Diploma in International Trade from the Forum for International Trade Training, FITT. Graduates can also earn the Certified International Trade Professional designation (CITP).
According to Pedro, "We had the honour to share first-hand points of view with Mr. Jorge Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru to Canada and listen to him describe the excellent opportunities that these agreements brings together to governments, business organizations and academia. It was a great surprise, his clear understanding that a wider, more committed participation from universities and colleges into these discussions could give to governments and policymakers more and better tools for collaboration." He added, "We listened carefully to the Peruvian Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Luis Felipe Sanchez Araujo who provided a very detailed overview about business opportunities within the Peru-Canada Free Trade Agreement."
These agreements open the door to reduced tariffs and greater cooperation in a huge potential market of more than 75 million people in those South American countries.
Dean Post, Manager of the Export Marketing Unit at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, provided an excellent presentation that reminded potential Ontario-based exporters that relationships are key and recommended finding good partners such as importers and freight forwarders. Post also suggested that exporters make in-person market visits, learn the language and culture and develop an export plan.
International Business Management program coordinator Murray Morgan points out that these are many of the lessons learned in the ITB program at Fanshawe College.
Sharon commented, "This event was an amazing opportunity for learning and networking with important delegates from those governments such as Mr. Jorge Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru, and Mr. Ezio Di Emmanuele, Regional Director of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, as well as important representatives from the private sector. This was an ideal opportunity for future contacts and professional development with a number of important business people eager to do business internationally, as well as interesting export-oriented agencies and organizations."
Fanshawe's International Business program was introduced in September 2006. It is a post-graduate certificate program and requires either a college diploma or university degree, or a minimum of five years' business experience in exceptional circumstances. The diversity of the students' educational and career experience, country of origin and language skills adds tremendously to the program. This year we have students from China, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Turkey, India, the U.S.A. and Canada.
The course offers several projects to connect students to firms or organizations involved in international business. We hope that by forging linkages with potential employers, we can help enhance real-world exposure and over time, career opportunities for graduates of the program. This was certainly the case for Pedro and Sharon, thanks to Katrin Spence and Bill Robinson at Agriculture Canada.