February 5, 2009 (8:15 a.m. EST)
No. 33

Minister Day Launches Campaign to Help Canadian Business Expand Abroad

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today launched the annual advertising campaign for the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service while delivering a speech at the Toronto Board of Trade. The two-month campaign includes billboards in nine airports across Canada, web advertising and ads in select Canadian business magazines and newspapers.

"Our economic prosperity depends on opening doors for Canadian businesses so they can reach out to global opportunities and create jobs. We also rely on the will of our trading partners to open doors to us," said Minister Day. "Our government has taken a number of important steps to open these doors, such as through free trade agreements. We have legislation to implement an agreement with the European Free Trade Association moving through Parliament right now and new ones on the horizon with countries in Asia and the Americas. We are also strongly focused on the European Union. The new advertising campaign will help us tell Canadian businesses how trade commissioners can assist them in making crucial global connections."

The Trade Commissioner Service is expanding quickly. Just last year, the Government of Canada announced that it will open new trade offices and satellite offices at home and abroad as part of the Global Commerce Strategy. Since then, domestic satellite offices have opened in Windsor, the Waterloo region, Ottawa, Quebec City and Victoria.

"These new trade offices play a critical role in ensuring that all Canadian businesses, no matter where they are, have access to the global network of highly skilled trade commissioners," explained Minister Day.

"The Trade Commissioner Service is an invaluable tool for Canadian business," said Carol Wilding, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Board of Trade. "Our members do business all over the world and benefit from the services provided by trade commissioners in a variety of markets."

"The trade commissioner assured us that it is possible to make it; there are mechanisms in place and a knowledge base to effectively enter new markets. To know that my country is behind me in making these business developments is incredible," said Geoff Schimmel, Chief Executive Officer of Loyalist Forest Products.

Trade commissioners help Canadian companies and organizations do business through four key services: preparing them for entry into international markets, assessing market potential, finding qualified contacts and resolving problems.

With more than 115 years of experience, the Trade Commissioner Service currently maintains offices in 150 cities abroad and 17 regional offices across Canada.

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For further information, please visit The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

Media representatives may also wish to contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000