Supporting and partnering with small and medium-sized businesses to seize opportunities abroad is a key part of our pro-export, pro-jobs plan, says Minister Fast
January 30, 2015 – Edmonton, Alberta – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, hosted an export workshop designed to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the tools and practical information they need to take advantage of international business opportunities to export. Today’s workshop in Edmonton, Alberta, was attended by more than 75 participants. Since Minister Fast launched this cross-country series in Richmond, British Columbia, on November 21, 2014, the Government of Canada has hosted seven workshops across Canada, attended by more than 570 SME representatives.
In November 2013, Minister Fast released the Global Markets Action Plan with the goal of doubling to 21,000 the number of Canadian SMEs exporting to emerging markets. In support of this goal, Minister Fast instructed Canada’s export agencies to enhance their coordination, closely align their activities and facilitate referrals in order to better serve and be responsive to the needs of SMEs.
By bringing together the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, these export workshops, delivered in partnership with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, provide a one-stop shop offering information and tools to SMEs that are exploring opportunities abroad.
As a result of a new trade agreement with the European Union and the entry into force of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Canadian businesses will soon benefit from preferential access to more than half of the entire global marketplace. Minister Fast invited participants to join his upcoming trade mission to South Korea, which will take place from February 8 to 13, 2015.
While in Edmonton, Minister Fast was also pleased to highlight that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines recently announced the launch of non-stop service between Edmonton International Airport and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, starting on May 5, 2015. The new route will allow business people to travel more easily between Edmonton and Europe. This is welcome news, particularly since Canada and the European Union have now concluded a free trade agreement.
The next export workshop will be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Friday, February 6, 2015.
- One in five Canadian jobs is dependent on exports, representing 60 percent of the country’s economy.
- There are more than one million SMEs across Canada, with 41,000 currently exporting.
- Since 2006, the Harper government has concluded trade agreements with 38 countries, bringing the total to 43 countries.
“Our government is committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadian SMEs in Edmonton and across the country to help them seize export opportunities and create jobs. Our efforts to support exporters are yielding significant results. I am pleased that today we have reached a significant milestone: with this workshop, we have now engaged with over 500 participants. I look forward to engaging with many more Canadian small businesses across the country in the coming months.
“We are breaking down the silos between our export agencies, taking a whole-of-government approach to exporting and providing the tools, services and information that you and your businesses need to succeed.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
“Globalization is here to stay, and that means exports and other international trade opportunities are important success factors for a growing number of companies. Increasingly, Canadian entrepreneurs are developing new business in foreign markets—and more need to do the same.
“Through our financing and consulting solutions, and working with our partners, BDC looks forward to helping more SMEs take advantage of their international expansion potential. The benefits are undeniable.”
– Jean-René Halde, President and CEO, Business Development Bank of Canada
“The recently announced free trade agreements between Canada and the European Union and South Korea will create new opportunities and open untapped markets for Canadian exporters. Seizing those opportunities will be much easier for businesses that leverage the export services available through the Government of Canada and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Whether you’re looking for qualified international business partners, in need of a critical export strategy, a trade financing or a contracting opportunity with a foreign government, the Go Global workshops show you how the Canadian government can help.”
– Jayson Myers, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
“The Canadian Commercial Corporation is proud to participate in the Go Global workshops that have reached over 500 participants. We work with Canadian exporters every day to help them access and win government procurement opportunities globally.”
– Martin Zablocki, President and CEO, Canadian Commercial Corporation
“We tend to think of Canadian trade in the aggregate, but our country’s export growth is driven by small businesses with big ideas. Today, hundreds of those businesses made it perfectly clear that trade is important to their future. The Go Global workshop is a reflection of that importance, showcasing all the tools that Canadian small businesses have at their disposal to make the leap into selling abroad.”
– Benoit Daignault, CEO, Export Development Canada
“Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association is proud to host this Go Global workshop with International Trade Minister Ed Fast. We all share the same goal of providing SMEs with the tools they need to grow and create jobs in Alberta and across the country.”
– Barbara McKenzie, Executive Director, Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade