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Under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP), the government’s pro-export, pro-jobs plan, new markets around the world have been opened for P.E.I. exports. These historic trade achievements will benefit hard-working Canadians in P.E.I. and throughout Canada.
In just one year, the government has delivered on its GMAP commitment to eliminate tariffs and support Canadian companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and to boost exports, including through:
- the conclusion of negotiations and release of the complete text of the historic Canada-European Union trade agreement. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on virtually all of P.E.I.’s key exports. On the first day of the agreement’s coming into force, 96 percent of tariffs on fish and seafood products and 99 percent of tariffs on manufactured products will be duty-free. P.E.I. is well positioned to benefit from increased export opportunities to the EU market and its 500 million consumers.
- the conclusion of Canada’s first free trade agreement in Asia with the landmark Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), will come into force on January 1, 2015. Prince Edward Island will see tremendous opportunities for export growth, given the complete elimination of South Korean duties on many Canadian products. For example, as of January 1, tariffs on 97 percent of Canada’s current agricultural exports will be eliminated. P.E.I. will benefit from the agreement’s elimination of tariffs on frozen potato products, which include frozen french fries, from a current rate of 18 percent.
Historic trade agreements require historic trade promotion, and under GMAP the Harper government is supporting workers and businesses in P.E.I. and ensuring that SMEs have all the necessary tools to seize new opportunities and realize their full export potential.
Key elements of the trade promotion efforts include:
Go Global Export Workshops
Over the next several months, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, is holding workshops across Canada in collaboration with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and all the Government of Canada’s export support agencies. Under GMAP, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada, the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation have been aligning their activities, facilitating referrals, sharing market intelligence and information, and providing a whole-of-government approach to boost SME exports. Over 300 SMEs participated in Go Global workshops in 2014.
Regional Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) Activities
Since the start of 2014, the TCS’s Atlantic Regional Office, based in Halifax, has reached out to 299 SMEs to assist them with their export endeavours, as well as to connect them to TCS offices overseas, providing 436 targeted services to help these SMEs succeed in global markets.
Trade commissioners have been embedded with public and private sector partners across Canada, including in P.E.I. with the Association of Seafood Producers Inc. (regional focus) and the Business Development Bank of Canada in Charlottetown, so they can work closely with businesses to ensure the Government of Canada is responsive to their needs.
Export Development Canada (EDC)
EDC helped 31 P.E.I. companies finance or insure $1.32-billion worth of international sales and investments. For example, EDC has provided Zengo Inc., a small business that has a line of quick and easy leak-stopping devices designed for commercial and industrial purposes, with two export guarantees to help it grow its business. EDC has provided several single-buyer insurance policies to Top Dog Manufacturing for the export of its high-quality protective clothing, which is used across a wide range of industries. This year, 2014, was a banner year for Top Dog, whose rising export sales accounted for approximately 60 percent of the company’s overall sales.
P.E.I. exports will grow by 15 percent in 2014. The chemicals, aerospace and machinery industries, which are benefiting from a lower Canadian dollar as well as higher demand and output, will provide most of the momentum. In 2015, economic expansion in the United States, Asia and Europe will push prices up and boost exports for the manufacturing sector while challenges in the agri-food sector will restrain the province’s overall export growth to six percent.
Attracting Job-Creating Investments in Prince Edward Island
Through the Invest Canada – Community Initiatives program, the Government of Canada provided a total of $34,775 to two Prince Edward Island communities: the cities of Charlottetown and Summerside.
As part of GMAP, the government attracts investment to Canada, benefiting hard-working Canadians and their families. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) worked with provincial, territorial and municipal investment partners to facilitate 146 successful investment projects worth $3.65 billion and create over 5,500 new jobs within Canada.
Opening Markets and Supporting P.E.I. Businesses Abroad
In 2014, Minister Fast led 13 trade missions to 20 countries. Trade missions connect Canadian businesses, especially SMEs, with new opportunities to boost their exports, which creates jobs, growth and prosperity across all regions of Canada, including P.E.I.
In May, Minister Fast led the Canadian delegation to Seafood Expo Global 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, to promote fish and seafood exports. He was joined by representatives from five P.E.I. companies: PEI Mussel King Inc., BJ Trading & Marketing, Innovation PEI, Raspberry Point Oyster Co. and Royal Star Foods Ltd. During the Minister’s trade mission to the United Kingdom in September, he was joined by representatives from two P.E.I. companies: PEI Juice Works Ltd. and Raspberry Point Oyster Co.
Innovative companies from Prince Edward Island can also count on the support of the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program. In 2014, Charlottetown-based Strue Inc. participated in the CTA in Boston.
Minister Fast encouraged P.E.I.-based businesses to take advantage of the Enterprise Canada Network, provided in partnership with EDC and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, which provides online access to more than 30,000 business profiles and information on opportunities in the European market to help Canadian companies take full advantage of the historic Canada-EU trade agreement.
Under GMAP, the Harper government committed to developing comprehensive strategies in key sectors. Strategies released this year that support P.E.I. businesses include the International Education, the Extractive Sector and the Corporate Social Responsibility strategies, and an export-oriented Defence Procurement Strategy.
Minister Fast invited representatives of P.E.I. businesses to accompany him on his first trade mission of 2015. This trade mission to South Korea, which will take place from February 8 to 13, will enable businesses to take full advantage of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and benefit from on-the-ground support from the Government of Canada.
“This year, 2014, has been the most successful year for international trade in Canadian history, benefiting hard-working Canadians in P.E.I. and in every region of the country. Under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan, we will continue our vigorous trade promotion efforts to boost our exports.
“In 2015, we will continue to focus on the real priorities of hard-working Canadians: creating new jobs and prosperity.”
– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
Quotes from P.E.I. Stakeholders
Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
“Expanding into new markets is the way forward for our company and the Canadian mussel industry as a whole. We have been working hard to enter the European market for some time now, and thanks to a Canada-EU trade agreement, enhanced market access will help us continue to grow and create new sources of prosperity for our company, our community and our province.”
– Esther Dockendorff, President, PEI Mussel King Inc.
“A Canada-EU trade agreement is a clear win for the island’s world-class mussel, oyster and finfish growers, processors and suppliers. The elimination of high tariff barriers into the massive EU market will contribute significantly toward the potential opportunities for Prince Edward Island aquaculturists to thrive, succeed and prosper.”
– Ann Worth, Executive Director, Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance
“We believe the best seafood products in the world come from Prince Edward Island. Our seafood processors are very pleased to see a deal reached with the European Union to remove tariffs and make lucrative markets more accessible.”
– Dennis King, Executive Director, PEI Seafood Processors Association
Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement
“As a leading processor of frozen potato products, we believe a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea presents a golden opportunity for us to grow our presence in the South Korean market, and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Free trade helps to support our industry, the workers we employ and the sale of the high-quality products that we’ve been producing for more than 30 years.”
– Vince Taddeo, VP International, Cavendish Farms
Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) Program
“The CTA gave us an outstanding opportunity to work in our preferred international market—Boston. The combination of helpful support, strong networking opportunities, access to excellent Canadian start-ups and the location in Kendall Square made the CTA program exceptional. CTA has been instrumental in helping Strue raise our next seed round, meet advisors, refine our business model and pitch and connect with the Boston business community. We very much appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of it, particularly the support we received. If you have an opportunity to participate, we’d highly recommend it.”
– Jordan MacLeod, Founder and CEO, Strue Inc.