New Initiative to Help Canadian Businesses Expand to Developing Countries

(No. 10 – January 13, 201010 a.m. EST) The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today marked the creation of a $20‑million program to support Canadian businesses that want to invest responsibly in developing countries. Effective today, Investment Cooperation (INC) replaces the Canadian International Development Agency’s Industrial Cooperation (CIDA-INC) program.

“This program will make it easier for innovative Canadian companies to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries,” said Minister Day. “This will create jobs both at home and abroad.”

INC funding will be used to help Canadian companies complete the following phases of the investment cycle:

  • The viability phase: feasibility of an investment is investigated.
  • The demonstration phase: technology is adapted and demonstrated.
  • The sustainability phase: plans are developed to enhance a project’s economic, social and environmental sustainability.
  • The implementation phase: activities are undertaken to enhance the sustainability of the project.

Program applicants and clients must demonstrate adherence to strict international corporate social responsibility (CSR) standards in order to receive funding. The program complements CSR measures announced by the Government of Canada in March. These included the creation of a CSR counsellor’s office and support for an external CSR centre of excellence that would provide information to companies, non-governmental organizations and others.

Applications will be processed more quickly than under the previous CIDA-INC program to ensure timely review and approvals. A service standard of 40 working days from submission of a completed application to approval has been introduced. Other changes include the expansion of the program to projects in most countries eligible for international development assistance, including China, Mexico, Malaysia and Thailand.

In 2007, the Government of Canada started implementing the Global Commerce Strategy. The Strategy’s objective is to support Canadian firms as they pursue opportunities in the global marketplace. The INC program will support the Strategy by increasing Canadian direct investment around the world and strengthening global economic partnerships.

Companies that wish to apply for funding or pre-qualify online under the INC program may visit Investment Cooperation Program (INC).

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

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

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada