Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan Will Benefit Atlantic Provinces

Harper government’s new international trade plan will help create new jobs and opportunities for workers and businesses in Nova Scotia and throughout Atlantic Canada

November 29, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today visited the Port of Halifax and highlighted how Nova Scotia and other Atlantic provinces will benefit from Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, the blueprint for creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians through trade, announced on Wednesday.

“Under the new Global Markets Action Plan, our government is focusing on sectors and markets that offer the greatest opportunity for growth,” said Minister Fast. “We will help businesses—particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)—expand into new markets through vigorous and continual trade promotion, supported by ambitious trade policy. These sectors and markets were selected following extensive consultations here in Nova Scotia and across the country to ensure that the plan reflects the changing global landscape and the needs of businesses.”

International exports account for more than 19 percent of Nova Scotia’s economy. Of the province’s $3.8-billion worth of merchandise exports in 2012, 27 percent—the largest share—were rubber exports, almost exclusively tires. The second-largest category of exports was fish, and the third was wood pulp. These export sectors mirror three of 22 priority sectors under the Global Markets Action Plan, namely automotive, fish and seafood, and forestry and wood products. Nova Scotia’s top export markets—the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom and Japan—are also priorities under the plan.

“Here at the Port of Halifax, we are reminded of the importance of trade to Nova Scotia and to Canada,” said Minister Fast. “Guided by the Global Markets Action Plan, we will focus on our business strengths so Canadian companies can grow their exports. We fully understand that when our businesses succeed abroad, all Canadians benefit from the jobs and opportunities that are created at home.”

“The Global Markets Action Plan is a focused approach with clear objectives that businesses should be concentrating their efforts on,” said Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. “This plan also brings a commitment from the federal government to support international trade efforts through senior-level economic diplomacy. I can tell you that this type of support is deeply significant, as it adds credibility to existing efforts, and it shows the international community that Canada is ready to go right now.”

The Global Markets Action Plan, Canada’s new trade plan, reflects the changing global landscape, focuses on core Canadian strengths and aligns Canada’s diplomatic resources to advance the country’s commercial interests. It also sets ambitious and achievable targets for the government and SMEs to grow their presence in emerging markets.

Key elements of the plan include:

  • a new trade promotion plan that entrenches the concept of “economic diplomacy” by focusing government resources and services in order to maximize the success of Canada’s commercial interests in key foreign markets;
  • ensuring that Canada’s trade policy tools are prioritized toward initiatives that will yield the maximum economic benefits for Canadian workers and businesses;
  • sustained efforts to leverage Canada’s position as the only G-8 nation to have preferential access to the world’s two largest markets—the European Union and the United States—comprising more than 800 million customers, and providing Canada with free trade access to over half of the entire global marketplace; and
  • renewed stakeholder linkages to ensure that government priorities are in sync with the needs of businesses, and that the plan adapts to changes in the global economy.

The Global Markets Action Plan’s targets are:

  • grow Canada’s SME export presence in emerging markets from 29 percent to 50 percent by 2018;
  • this would grow Canada’s SME footprint in emerging markets from 11,000 to 21,000 companies;
  • this growth would create more than 40,000 net new jobs (source: Export Development Canada).

“The global economic environment is constantly evolving and becoming increasingly competitive,” added Minister Fast. “Our new Global Markets Action Plan ensures that we evolve with it so that our world-class companies can continue to succeed outside our borders.”

Additional information is available online at Global Markets Action Plan and priority markets fact sheets.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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