- Associations

changes were last made to this web page 2021 Feb 2nd

. This page used in the following courses taught by Prof. Richardson

Used primarily in UofT course MGTC44, Seneca course INB 524, MRK460
but also used in other courses such as UTM's CCT 322

.. 2012 May 28th in the MGTC44 class at UTSC, Richardson made a special 5 min video discussing how he used the connections and introductions through industry associations in Japan to obtain information leading to meetings in Tokyo on behalf of a Canadian software exporter looking for an export customer.

Using industry associations can be an effective strategy to obtain "credibility" with companies in an industry and acquire sector profile information at an economical cost.

Govt Info
Assoc Info
Corp Info
categories of information 
- where "associations fit" in the 3 pillars of "Sources of Information"
  • government
    • supplied by your home government 
    • supplied by the government of the target region
    • supplied by governments other than your's, and the target
  • associations
    • NGO's Non-Governmental Organizations 
    • Bilateral associations
    • Multilateral associations
    • Industry Associations
  • corporate
    • membership lists.
    • webpages of the individual companies
    • directories
    • stock market listings
    • annual reports
Industry Associations


2021 Feb 2nd

Thank you for the many students who watched the video about industry associations

 and the story about how I was able to obtain business in Japan by using the networking from the Canadian Embassy and the Japanese association – that is a very very useful story to remember

The key point is, instead of trying to directly contact individual companies overseas, you contact the head office of the industry association - and usually, the first step in identifying a "friendly association" would be the Trade Commissioners (from the Dept. of Foreign Affairs) who work in the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the region in which you intend to expand your business.

There are many types of industry associations which cover a wide variety of business sectors in the economy.

Japanese Auto Parts  Manufacturers Assoc
- And you can then get contact info for many Japanese companies in the auto parts business
- Additionally, when you contact them, you will not be making a “cold call”, you can say “we got your contact info from the JAPMA, and they will then be more likely to reply because you have been vetted (approved) by the JAPMA

There are all kinds of industry and manufacturing associations, such as
Canadian Jewellers Association
Forest Products Association of Canada
Canadian Meat Council
Canadian Home Builders Assoc.

The original video about my networking success with the Japanese auto parts association is at
if you have not seen it, watch it, and make a comment.

Industry Associations

events and activities for students

2021 Feb 2nd

The other thing about industry associations is they all have a website and you can find articles there about the sector they are involved in, which gives you background info to the Economic and Political Environment effecting these business

Job Hunting
Most Associations have events like seminars and conferences – and most of you reading this webpage  are in Toronto, where most of these events are held.

Often they let students attend for free.

You can walk around (after Covid is finished) and see the different displays and tables with their product info, and meet real people to follow up later with a resume

Sometimes, the associations are looking for students to help organize the association events and you can then meet many many businesses who are attending.

Associations often put out publications (online and in paper) on news related to the business of their members, and, they are always looking for people to write content for the newsletter.
This can also be an opportunity for you to get some “publishing credits”, which you could add to your LinkedIn page and make your profile on LinkedIn more attractive.

.. NGO's Non-Governmental Organizations  The term non-governmental is supposed to imply that these organizations are not associated with the government structure of a particular nation - but, in fact, these associations are highly dependent on politics in particular countries.

The World Bank, headquartered in Washington, is very much controlled by the infleunces of U.S. politics

The OECD in France is heavily influenced (say some international business experts) by its multi-lingual head-office work force which is predominatly European.

The G8 controls the IMF and there can't be much money taken out of this organization for assisting countries with their currency problems unless the majority of the G8 leaders agree.

UNCTAD is a sub-agency of the United Nations and must follow the pressures put on the U.N. from a multitude of sources.

.. Bilateral associations

Bilateral associations simply means an associations that is concerned with just two entities. Usually, this term applies to Canada - and Country X


  • Canada-Japan Trade Council
  • Hong Kong - Canada Business Association 
  • Canada-Finland Chamber of Commerce
  • Canada-Peru Chamber of Commerce 
  • Argentine Canadian Chamber of Commerce 
  • Canada-Indonesia Business Council
.. Bilateral associations -  useful for students 

1. You can read information off the website of the association and find information about

  • current issues between Canada and country X
  • names of companies doing business between these two countries
    • for example on the main page of the website of the Argentine Canadian Chamber of Commerce you can see the corporate logo of McCain and Royal Bank so you certainly know those two companies are active in that country
  • information about the top industry sectors and type of products most commonly traded
  • some associations even have discussions about work situations between the two countries which can help you learn about the skills and qualifications most desired.


.. Bilateral associations -  useful for students 

2. Where do you find Bilateral associations listed?

You can look on the websites for the Canadian Embassy in the particular country.
For example on the website of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico
you can find that the Ambassador made a speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico - so look up the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico and you'll find
and this page lists all the corporate members



.. You can also go to META lists, such as
Multilateral associations .. Multilateral associations
examples Multilateral associations are common when the issues involve things of common to companies operating in several countries. For example, the number of Canadian companies that might have interests in a single Arabic country might not be large enough to warrant a bilateral association, and, those same companies, if they are interested in Saudia Arabia, would probably also be interested in business with Oman and Yemen.

Some multilateral associations, like the Asia Pacific Foundation (APF), are focused on social and cultural issues and host events, and publish material discussing things such as language learning, music and art etc. Companies and executives support and attend these events since it is understood that learning about the social-cultural circumstances of the countries in which you do business is important for people trade consumer products and services.

The APF also has up-to-date facts, statistics and "country background" information in the form of reports that you can read off their site.

Multilateral associations .. Multilateral associations - other assoc.

Multilateral associations can also include memberships of other associations. For example, the Southeast Asia-Canada Business Council is also the organization that coordinates the activities of the 

  • Canada Indonesia Business Association
  • Malaysia Canada Business Council
  • Philippines Canada Trade Council
  • Canada Singapore Business Association
  • The Vancouver, Vietnamese Chinese Business Association
This coordination means that sometimes when a person receives information from their participation in the Canada Indonesia Business Association, they might also receive information about some of the other associations as well so this allows multiple opportunities for a person interested in several countries.
Multilateral associations


.. Membership in multilateral associations can include small companies but it is more likely to include medium and large sized enterprises. Membership often includes government agencies and specific senior government personnel in particular ministeries at the federal level, and sometimes provincial level. A number of multilateral associations, like the Asia Pacific Foundation, are also financially supported by government at the federal level.

Membership fees can be wide ranging - some of the big ones, like PBEC, dues for corporate membership are US$5,000

One of the things that can indicate the size and scope of a multilateral association is to look at the list of officers of the association. When you see what companies these people represent, it can indicate if they are "big playaz", or SMEs
example - the officers are all CEOs of huge companies

Industry Associations .. Industry Associations
  • CBEF, Canada Beef Export Federation
  • CFEA, Canadian Food Exporters Association 
  • CAJAD, Cdn Assoc. of Japanese Automobile Dealers
  • ITAC, Information Technology Association of Canada 
  • ITSMA, IT Services Marketing Association 
Industry Associations .. Industry associations are often formed for the purpose of lobbying within a particular industry sector. These types of associations are good resources for students needing information about business trends and economic data effecting the sector in which particular companies are operating.

Many industry associations have an international scope - such as the Canada Beef Export Federation which has spent a lot of time developing business opportunities in Japan for its membership (most of which is in Alberta)

.. Associations have lots of events and information for their members, because ... that is how they get their members to renew each year. Students can access much of this information - sometimes you can obtain the newsletter for free, or read it off the website. Some associations allow "affiliate" memberships and this means you have the opportunity to attend events.

Example (1) “ARE YOU READY?” Workshop - 
Hiring Internationally Trained Immigrants
February 18, 2010

Where: 205 Humber College Blvd., Toronto, M9W 5L7
When: Thursday, February 18, 7:00 am - 11:00 am

To register, contact Melinda Kao, Humber College at 416.675.6622 x 5125 
sponsored by ITAC

.. Example (2) Global Chinese Financial Forum (GCFF) listed by the Southeast Asia-Canada Business Council - Vancouver Conference March 2006

Even if the event has already taken place, these websites are a "mine" of information for students

  • you can see speeches by top ranked executives
  • names of sponsoring companies
  • summaries of business sectors and interesting economic analysis 
.. Example (3) Annual General Meeting & Networking Event with Arab Ambassadors 
listed by the Canada-Arab Business Council (CABC)

Described as "On Friday, June 2, 2006, CABC will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the GreyHawk Golf Club - 4999 Boundary Road, Cumberland [outside of Ottawa].
A luncheon and golf tournament with the Arab Ambassadors will follow the AGM. Join us at one of the finest golf course s in the Greater Ottawa area for a wonderful day of networking."

For someone who is a golfer, this would be a great opportunity to meet several of the top ranked diplomats of the leading Arab countries that have embassies in Ottawa. 

.. Bilateral and Multilateral and Industry associations  have publically listed lists of their members. Scrolling through those lists will give you the names of Canadian companies doing business in the particular country. 


Sometimes the membership list contains actual company contact information for the company, such as

John Smith, Vice President, Asia, 

  Prof. W. Tim G. Richardson ©