April 28, 2006
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, joined by Premier Binns on behalf of the four Atlantic Premiers, today announced a new five-year, $10 million Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA) in Charlottetown.
The IBDA helps build a stronger trading culture in Atlantic Canada through: trade training and awareness for companies, market information and intelligence, research and planning to develop strategic sectors, and international business development activities such as trade missions and trade shows.
“This Agreement reflects the commitment of Canada’s new Government to help small and medium-sized businesses in Atlantic Canada compete in North America and around the world,” said Prime Minister Harper. “We want to assist Atlantic Canadians in bringing more of their goods and services to the world.”
“Our Government is pleased to be one of the partners in this Agreement, which has become an important tool for meeting the many needs of our new and established exporters,” said Premier Binns. “With the new phase of the IBDA, our companies will continue to receive the information and support they need to compete in global markets.”
“The Government of New Brunswick is proud to enter into this new phase of the IBDA, which will continue to meet the needs of our new and established exporters,” said New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord. “Our province is the most trade-active province in Canada, and the IBDA will provide crucial access to information, training and market exposure that our companies need to succeed internationally.”
“This Agreement has become invaluable for helping companies that want to enter or expand in global markets,” said Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams. “Over the past several years, more Newfoundland and Labrador companies have been participating in IBDA-funded projects, and we expect to see this interest in pursuing export opportunities expand further in the next phase of the Agreement.”
“Our government is committed to building on the strong trading culture in our province,” said Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald. “By being part of the IBDA, we are able to pool resources with our federal and provincial partners to help prepare our companies to compete with the very best in the world.”
The IBDA provides a pan-Atlantic forum for the exchange of knowledge and coordination of international business development among the federal and provincial partners, namely the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada and three federal government departments (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, International Trade Canada and Industry Canada).
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The Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA) is a federal/provincial partnership. It has a mandate to help established exporters in Atlantic Canada expand their activities into new and more diversified markets, and to help new exporters get started. The overarching objective is to build a more dynamic environment for trade and export in the Atlantic region.
Since 1994, 32 per cent of companies that participated in an IBDA-sponsored trade activity for the first time have since begun exporting internationally; 42 per cent of companies reported an increase in the volume of their exports; and 29 per cent started exporting to new markets as a result of IBDA activity. A total of 179 projects have been approved and more than 1,500 companies have participated in them. (source: IBDA survey)
Every $1 million in exports sustains 8-10 jobs in Atlantic Canada. Economic expansion in Atlantic Canada is tied to improved trade performance, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The IBDA sets out to fund activities that help enterprising companies overcome obstacles and seize opportunities in new markets.
The goals of the Agreement are:
to increase the number of exporters in Atlantic Canada;
to help diversify the markets of current exporters; and
to increase the overall value of export sales from the region.
Although this Agreement is designed specifically to help SMEs, it does this through export-related projects developed by non-profit organizations, industry groups, universities and government. The Agreement is not designed to provide funding directly to individual companies.
The original Agreement was signed in 1994 for a total value of $3 million. In 1997, the Agreement was extended for three years and $2 million in funding was added. This second extension was for $8 million over four years, ending in 2004. Today, the IBDA announced a new Agreement for $10 million with an end date of March 2010.
The funding of the Agreement is cost-shared between the federal government (70%) and the provincial governments (30%).
The Agreement focuses on export development in several sectors in Atlantic Canada, specifically:
Building Products and Construction
Business/Professional and Education Services
Food (Agri-Food and Seafood)
Fish and Aquaculture Technology
Information Communications Technology (ICT)
Plastics and Metals
Targeted markets include:
Current active markets: The United States (US) - New England, other Northeastern States, the Southeast and other US; the United Kingdom; Ireland; and the Caribbean
Secondary markets: US Midwest, Western Europe, Nordic countries, Chile and Japan
Emerging markets: China, Mexico, Chile and India