Backgrounder: Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy



The Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy is a homegrown, historic, and groundbreaking initiative — the first of its kind in Canada — to grow export and boost foreign investment in the region. Through an unprecedented level of collaboration, the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provincial governments have committed to working hand-in-hand to create jobs and strengthen the economy by increasing the number of exporters, the value of export sales, export markets and foreign investment in the region. Long-term planning, coordination and collaboration will maximize and leverage resources to achieve strategy targets.

To further support the strategy, the federal and provincial partners have also signed a joint Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Agreement. Collectively, the partners will invest $20 million over the next five years to implement firm-focused, strategic market development plans to expand Atlantic Canada’s international business activities.

More specifically, by 2025, initiatives and activities developed under this strategy will :

  • Double the number of exporters;
  • Increase the value of Atlantic exports by 30%;
  • Increase the percentage of Atlantic firms exporting to more than one market to 40% of exporters; and
  • Increase foreign investment in Atlantic Canada.

Results-driven plans will be informed by evidence-based data, and benchmarking will be used to determine and adjust the trade and investment activities as required over the next five years. 

Priority Areas 

The activities under the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy will focus on four priority areas:  

  1. Fostering an Atlantic culture for exporting. Strengthen Atlantic business culture and entrepreneurs’ mindsets to be geared towards growth and exporting; increase awareness among the Atlantic business community of the importance and advantages of exporting; and ensure export-related information is broadly available. 
  2. Ensuring Atlantic firms are prepared and have the talent and skills to succeed. Ensure Atlantic companies have access to both general and tailored export preparedness information and programs; and have access to talent required so that they are knowledgeable and prepared, in order to decrease the risks associated with exporting, as well as save time and money. 
  3. Diversifying and expanding to international markets. Boost Atlantic Canada’s export performance and economic growth by expanding market share and presence in new markets; and ensure Atlantic growth-oriented exporters have the strategic and long-term resources they need to access and grow their presence in international markets, diversify export sales to a new market or increase the value of exports. 
  4. Attracting foreign investment to Atlantic Canada. Strategically market the region by displaying the best it has to offer to attract new global investments; ensure regional investment stakeholders have the information and training required to respond to incoming foreign interest; and encourage the coordination and leveraging of federal and provincial resources in an effort to close more foreign investment deals in Atlantic Canada. 


The Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy represents a collaborative approach among the federal and provincial governments in Atlantic Canada. The Strategy partners are: 

  • The Government of Canada (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (lead); Global Affairs Canada) 
  • The Government of Nova Scotia
  • The Government of New Brunswick 
  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The Government of Prince Edward Island 

The partners will engage other federal and provincial departments and organizations in the development and implementation of specific initiatives in support of this strategy, as appropriate. 


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