Within the mandate of engaging in sustainable local economic development through international trade, the Waterloo Sustainable Development Group’s (WSDG) Chief Strategic Officer, Ian Chow has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chris Fernando, Principal of Toronto based business developer and marketing specialist, Slate Strategies, setting the foundation for exploring collaboration in developing export capacity in the global south.
The two sides agreed to explore collective work on promoting economic development in impoverished nations and communities around the world through developing their capacity to export products and services via direct trade facilitation, benefiting the livelihoods and welfare of those target communities.
This partnership highlights the importance of working towards achieving Goals 8 and 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of 17 goals enacted by the UN and signed by all 193 member countries as a long-term plan for a sustainable world.
WSDG’s Chief Executive Officer, Tarek Alfarra, Chief Strategic Officer, Ian Chow and Chief Community Development Officer, Nicole Maynard were all present in New York as speakers at the “International Conference on Sustainable Development”, which was taking place on the sidelines of the UN SDGs inauguration in 2015 and are active supporters of the goals.
Commenting on the MoU, Chow said that “we at WSDG, through our various services, are committed to pursuing all SDGs, and in this case, we are actively working on Goal 8 ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’. We believe that the MoU signed with Slate Strategies will play a part in advancing this goal through facilitating a considerable improvement in export capacity in the communities that we are targeting, an improvement that will help create more jobs and economic growth in those communities, thus moving us closer to reaching Goal 1, ‘No Poverty’.”
For his part, Fernando said that “Slate Strategies is excited to start exploring opportunities with Waterloo Sustainable Development Group. We are looking forward to exploring opportunities with WSDG as their vision parallels ours; the betterment of our planet and the lives of the people inhabiting it.”
WSDG and Slate Strategies are currently exploring a number of export capacity and trade development opportunities in various sectors such as olive oil, cosmetics and handicrafts, with various WSDG international partners.